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Project Runway All Stars

Project Runway All Stars is a spin-off of Project Runway, featuring returning designers competing for grand prizes. Angela Lindvall and Carolyn Murphy have each hosted one season before Alyssa Milano became the staple host of the past five seasons. As on Project Runway, the designers are judged by the host, two permanent judges and guest judges throughout the season. The permanent All Stars judges have been designers Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi. Joanna Coles mentored the designers throughout seasons one and two, Zanna Roberts Rassi replaced her in season three to five and Anne Fulenwider mentored season six and season seven.

In May, 2016, Lifetime renewed Project Runway All Stars for two more seasons (six and seven) in a deal with The Weinstein Company.[1] Following the 2017 allegations against Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy, Project Runway was picked up by its original broadcaster Bravo, but no comment has been made about Project Runway All Stars.


Same as Project Runway, All Stars follows the same format with challenges, judgings, and eliminations.


Judging duties on the first season of All Stars were taken up by host, Angela Lindvall, fashion designers Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi, and a fourth guest judge, usually a fashion designer, a supermodel, a celebrity, or a professional from an industry related to the challenge given. The second season saw the replacement of Lindvall as host and judge by supermodel Carolyn Murphy, who only remained with the show for one season also. American actress Alyssa Milano became the host and judge on All Stars in the third season, and has remained on the show for five seasons. Joanna Coles acts as a mentor to the designers, giving them suggestions and tips for their designs throughout the episode, but she does not participate in the judging's. Coles was the stable mentor for the first and second season, until Zanna Roberts Rassi replaced her in the third to fifth season. Anne Fulenwider took over for final two seasons.


Season Premiere Date Finale Date No. of
Winner Runner-up2nd runner-upDesigner's Prizes Model's Prizes
3rd runner-up
1January 5, 2012March 22, 201213 Mondo GuerraAustin ScarlettMichael Costello
  • Exclusive designer’s boutique in select Neiman Marcus stores and on
  • $100,000 in technology and office space to help grow their business from HP and Intel
  • $100,000 cash from L’Oreal Paris
  • A feature spread in Marie Claire, for which he serve as a guest editor for one year
  • A sewing and embroidery studio provided by Brother International
  • An exclusive first class flight to Paris, courtesy of Open Skies Airlines
  • A Hotel retreatment for one week in Paris at Le Meurice and at Plaza Athénéé
2October 25, 2012January 17, 201313 Anthony Ryan AuldEmilio SosaUli Herzner[to be determined]
3October 24, 2013January 9, 201411 Seth Aaron HendersonKorto Momolu Elena Slivnyak
  • A custom-branded capsule collection for QVC, receive $150,000 in cash
  • A sewing and embroidery studio provided by Brother Sewing and Embroidery
  • A year's supply and an all-expenses paid trip for two to South-East Asia, courtesy of resource®
  • A year's professional hair styling and photography for all of the designer’s upcoming fashion shows, courtesy of Alterna Haircare
  • A year’s worth of beauty products for their fashion shows as well as professional makeup artist services for their debut show, courtesy of Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • A technology suite provided by HP and Intel
  • A fashion spread in and a contributing editor position for one year at Marie Claire magazine
[to be determined]
4October 30, 2014 February 12, 2015 14 Dmitry SholokhovSonjia Williams Helen Castillo
  • A chance to create a capsule collection with QVC
  • Appear during QVC’s Spring Fashion Week programming
  • A fashion spread in Marie Claire and a position at the magazine as Contributing Editor for one year
  • A special guest stay at CHI Haircare's International conference in Cancun, Mexico
  • Product and staff for an entire year of runway shows
  • From Mary Kay, an entire year’s worth of beauty products for fashion shows and professional makeup artist services for his/her debut show
  • A cash prize of $150,000
  • A complete custom sewing studio to launch his/her winning line from Brother Sewing and Embroidery.
[to be determined]
5February 11, 2016 May 5, 2016 13 Dom StreaterKiniokahokula "Kini" Zamora Ken Laurence
  • The opportunity to design an exclusive line of jewelry for
  • A capsule footwear collection by Chinese Laundry
  • A fashion spread in Marie Claire and a position at the magazine as Contributing Editor
  • A complete sewing studio to launch his/her winning line from Brothers Sewing and Embroidery
  • A cash prize of $100,000.
[to be determined]
6January 4, 2018 April 5, 2018 16 Anthony WilliamsFabio Costa & Stanley Hudson
  • A fashion spread in Marie Claire and a position at the magazine as Contributing Editor
  • A trip for two to London
  • Skin care and makeup from Rodial for their next show and beyond
  • Accessories and styling services from Intermix for their next collection
  • A complete sewing studio to launch his/her winning line from Brothers Sewing and Embroidery
  • A cash prize of $100,000.
[to be determined]
7January 2, 2019March 27, 201914 Michelle LesniakDmitry Sholokhov Irina Shabayeva
  • An editorial fashion spread in Marie Claire and a position at the magazine as guest editor for one year
  • Opportunity to create a signature nail color for Butter London
  • A trip for two to London
  • $40,000 worth of sewing machines from Brothers Sewing and Embroidery
  • A cash prize of $100,000.
Evan Biddell

All Stars: Season 1[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 1)

Lifetime's first season of Project Runway All Stars consisted of twelve one-hour episodes featuring 13 past contestants competing in a series of challenges. The airdate was set for November 3, 2011, but was pushed back to January 5, 2012.[2] The season was hosted by Angela Lindvall and the recurring judges were fashion designers Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman. The winner was Mondo Guerra.

All Stars: Season 2[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 2)

The second season of All-Stars began airing October 25, 2012. Carolyn Murphy replaced Angela Lindvall as host, while Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman were back for Season 2 as judges. Season 2 also featuring 13 designers, and Anthony Ryan Auld was the winner.

All Stars: Season 3[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 3)

It was announced in June 2013 that a third All Stars season was in the works with Alyssa Milano as the host. Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman were also returning as judges.Zanna Roberts Rassi, the senior fashion editor for Marie Claire, joined this season as the mentor. The season started production in late June 2013, and premiered on October 24, 2013.[4]Mary Kay Cosmetics is the supplier for all makeup used by the designers for this season, and it is their first time to be featured on the series.[citation needed]. Seth Aaron Henderson was the winner among 11 participating designers.

All Stars: Season 4[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 4)

Reports of a fourth season of All Stars, once again hosted by Milano, were confirmed on social media by Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, who served as a guest judge.[5] The cast of 14 designers was revealed on September 16, with a premiere date set for October 30, 2014. Dmitry Sholokhov was the winner.[6]

All Stars: Season 5[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 5)

The fifth season of All Stars premiered in the beginning of 2016. Alyssa Milano returned as host as well as Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and Zanna Roberts Rassi. Season 5 features 13 designers, and Dom Streater was the winner.

All Stars: Season 6[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 6)

The sixth season of All Stars premiered in January 2018. Alyssa Milano returned in her role as host, and Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman remain regular judges. Anne Fulenwider mentored the designers. Season 6 features eight new All Stars designers, and eight designers who have competed on All Stars previously. The winner of this season was Anthony Williams.

All Stars: Season 7[edit]

Further information: Project Runway All Stars (season 7)

The seventh season of All Stars premiered in January 2019. Alyssa Milano returned in her role as host, and Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman remain regular judges. Anne Fulenwider mentored the designers. The season featured seven former U.S. winners and seven international winners. The winner was Michelle Lesniak.



  • Designers' names in bold indicate winners in their respective All-Star seasons.
  • Designers' names in italic indicate finalists in their respective All-Star seasons.



WHERE ARE THEY NOW: All the 'Project Runway' winners

project runway
Getty Images/Larry Busacca
  • On "Project Runway," fashion designers compete against each other for a grand prize.
  • Past winners, like Christian Siriano and Leanne Marshall, went on to create successful brands.
  • Other winners, like Gretchen Jones, have expanded their careers beyond designing. 

Jay McCarroll won season one.

Jay McCarroll
Nick Ruedel/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Known for not winning a single challenge during the entire competition — other than the actual finale, of course — Jay McCarroll was the unlikely champion of season one.

McCarroll has remained in the spotlight across a variety of platforms.

Jay McCarroll
Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Post-"Project Runway," McCarroll starred in "Project Jay," which focused on his attempts to establish himself after his win.

McCarroll also starred in the documentary short "Eleven Minutes," which followed the process of creating his 2006 New York Fashion Week collection.

He made headlines in 2010 when he won VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" after losing 40 pounds.

As for his design career in the entertainment industry, he was the stylist for two short films, "Red Skyes at Night: The Story of Flower" (2016) and "Fleur" (2017).

Chloe Dao won season two.

Chloe Dao
Mike Ruiz/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In a surprise victory against Santino Rice, Chloe Dao won season two by impressing the judges with her elegant designs.

Dao is now a philanthropist who runs a clothing boutique.

Chloe Dao
Bob Levey/Getty Images for Remy Martin

After winning the second season of "Project Runway," Dao returned to her hometown of Houston, Texas, to continue growing her already established boutique, Chloe DAO. She also partnered with QVC and sold her designs there for multiple years.

In 2014, she became an executive producer and judge on "Project Runway Vietnam."

Dao is an active philanthropist, who's partnered with organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Salvation Army of Houston. She also started an initiative to donate face masks to those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, the designer worked on the fashion Zoom series "The Joy Hour" with fellow designer Jackie Adams. The webinars featured other leaders in the fashion industry. 

Jeffrey Sebelia won season three.

Jeffrey Sebelia
Mark Mainz/Getty Images For IMG

Jeffrey Sebelia seemed to play the villain throughout the season, making the fact that he won unpalatable to many fans. But there's no denying his designs impressed the judges.

Sebelia has tried his hand at designing children's clothing.

Jeffrey Sebelia
Charley Gallay/WireImage/Getty Images

After "Project Runway," he told New York Magazine in 2007 that he got a gig designing the costumes for the "Bratz" (2007) live-action movie. In the interview, he called the dolls "slutty" and, according to LA Weekly, this comment cost him the job. 

In 2010, he was named head designer of the LA-based clothing brand Fluxus, but he eventually left that position to pursue creating a line of children's clothing called La Miniatura.

Sebelia took a break from La Miniatura in 2013 to participate on the third season of "Project Runway: All Stars" — on which he placed seventh out of 11 contestants.

According to his website, Sebelia has also worked with clothing companies like Guess and Urban Outfitters.

Christian Siriano won season four.

christian siriano project runway
Mitch Haaseth/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Easily the most successful "Project Runway" alum, Christian Siriano was 21 when he first joined the show and wowed the judges with his designs. 

Now, Siriano dresses the stars.

christian siriano
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Since winning the competition, Siriano established his namesake line, Christian Siriano, and has continued to impress at New York Fashion Week since 2008.

In 2012, he opened his first boutique in New York, and, in 2013, he became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America — a prestigious organization that strengthens the impact of designers.

He has served as a judge on "Project Runway Junior," and he took over Tim Gunn's role as mentor starting on season 17 of "Project Runway."

The designer has also dressed a slew of celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid — to name a few.

Leanne Marshall won season five.

Leanne marshall
Scott Gries/Getty Images for IMG

Season five delivered yet another commercially successful winner in the form of Leanne Marshall.

Marshall also dresses celebrities.

Leanne Marshall
John Lamparski/Getty Images for Indonesian Diversity

Since winning her season, Marshall has moved to New York City and developed her own line.

She's also wowed at New York Fashion Week since 2008, and her flowy dresses have been worn by the likes of Ariana Grande, Solange, and Jackie Cruz.

In 2011, Marshall launched her signature bridal line, and she's since become highly recognized for those gowns as well as her ready-to-wear designs.

She even designed her own wedding gown — as well as her maid of honor's dress — for her own elopement in 2018.

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Project Runway Allstars

Released: January 2014

Country: United States

Executive Producers: Rob Bagshaw, Tara Boneillo


Project Runway All Stars on the Lifetime Channel is a spin-off series of Project Runway. It features 11 designers from previous seasons who compete in weekly challenges. Contestants are challenged to design and create fashion within restricted parameters of time, material, and theme. In the season finale, the three finalists had five days to create a six-piece collection based on their national heritages and traditions – Spain, Liberia, and Ukraine, respectively. The finalists launched their collections at a runway show at United Nations Headquarters in front of an audience of UN delegates and staff. The episode was hosted by UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador Alyssa Milano.

CCOI’s Role:

CCOI facilitated on-location filming at UN Headquarters in New York and coordinated the related legal and logistical arrangements.

UN Locations:

UN Economic and Social Council Chamber 

Related UN Issues:


New Coverage:

[UN News] With a nod to multiculturalism, UN hosts ‘Project Runway’ final

Top 10 Best Project Runway Designs EVER

Project Runway All Stars (season 6)

Season of television series

Project Runway All Stars (season 6) is the sixth season of the Project Runway spin-off series Project Runway All Stars. The concept of the edition is Rookies vs. Vets. It features sixteen designers, eight of whom have previously competed on Project Runway All Stars, and eight of whom are part of Project Runway All Stars for the first time. Alyssa Milano will return as host and both Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi will return as judges for this season, along with one or two guest judges each week. The show premiered on January 4, 2018 on Lifetime.[1]


In addition to Alyssa Milano both Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi return as judges for this season. The mentor for this season is Anne Fulenwider. Some of the celebrity guest judges for Project Runway All Stars Season 6 are Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Olivia Culpo, Dita Von Teese, Fashion Designers Rebecca Minkoff, Michael Costello, Danielle Brooks of Orange Is the New Black, Kacey Musgraves, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez, Karolina Kurkova, legendary supermodel Carmen Dell'Orefice, and Project Runway All Stars mentor in season 3 to season 5 Zanna Roberts Rassi, Project Runway’s Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, and Project Runway Junior’s Kelly Osbourne, as well as RuPaul.


Names, locales and ages at time of competition per official site:[2][3]

Designer Place of Residence Season(s) Best Placement Placement
Carlos Casanova New York, NYSeason 8 & All Stars 27th 16th
Kelly Dempsey Boston, MASeason 14 Runner-Up 15th
Ari South Honolulu, HISeason 8 & All Stars 33rd 13th/14th
Melissa Fleis Los Angeles, CASeason 10 & All Stars 3 3rd 13th/14th
Candice CuocoOakland, CASeason 14 4th 12th
Amanda Valentine Nashville, TNSeason 11 & 13Runner-Up 11th
Char Glover Los Angeles, CA Season 13 4th 10th
Kimberly GoldsonBrooklyn, NY Season 9 4th 9th
Merline Labissiere Miami, FLSeason 145th 8th
Joshua McKinley New York, NYSeason 9 & All Stars 2 Runner-Up 7th
Helen Castillo Weehawken, NJSeason 12 & All Stars 4 3rd 6th
Edmond Newton Atlanta, GA Season 14 3rd 5th
Ken Laurence Atlanta, GA Season 12 & All Stars 53rd 4th
Fabio Costa New York, NY Season 10 & All Stars 4Runner-Up Runner-Up
Stanley Hudson West Hollywood, CASeason 11 3rd Runner-Up
Anthony Williams Atlanta, GASeason 7 & All Stars 15th Winner

Designer Progress[edit]

Designer Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Melissa IN IN OUT
Kelly IN OUT
Casanova OUT
  The designer won Project Runway All Stars: Season 6.
  The designer won the challenge.
  The designer came in second but did not win the challenge.
  The designer had one of the highest scores for that challenge, but did not win.
  The designer had one of the lowest scores for that challenge, but was not eliminated.
  The designer was in the bottom two, but was not eliminated.
  The designer lost and was eliminated from the competition.



Episode 1: Rookies vs Vets[edit]

Original airdate: January 4, 2018

Eight all-star Rookies and eight returning all-star Veterans battle to create cohesive collections in the biggest season in All Stars’ history.[6]

  • Challenge: Create a fall or spring collection in rookies vs. vets teams
  • Guest Judge: Michael Costello
  • WINNER: Merline
  • ELIMINATED: Casanova

Episode 2: Damsels in Distress[edit]

Original airdate: January 11, 2018

Designers tear, dye and burn to create distressed fashion for a post-apocalyptic runway.[7]

  • Challenge: Create a distressed look for a post-apocalyptic runway
  • Guest Judge: Danielle Brooks
  • WINNER: Anthony

Episode 3: Perfect Pairings[edit]

Original airdate: January 18, 2018

Designers pair up to create fashion inspired by food and wine pairings. Whoopi Goldberg joins the judges for All Stars’ first ever double elimination.[8]

Food Wine
Anthony Kimberly
Joshua Amanda
Merline Candice
Ken Fabio
Edmond Helen
Char Stanley
Melissa Ari
  • Challenge: Create complementary looks inspired by a food and wine pairing
  • Guest Judge: Whoopi Goldberg
  • WINNER: Fabio & Ken
  • ELIMINATED: Melissa & Ari

Episode 4: Balls Out![edit]

Original airdate: January 25, 2018

In the notorious unconventional challenge, designers use all types of balls to create modern day "ball gowns."[9]

  • Challenge: Create "ball gowns" made from balls for a modern day princess
  • Guest Judge: Kacey Musgraves
  • WINNER: Stanley
  • ELIMINATED: Candice

Episode 5: Fashion's New Superheroes[edit]

Original airdate: February 1, 2018

Designers create looks to celebrate a woman’s inner superhero.[10]

  • Challenge: Create superhero looks inspired by Rodial's Hero cosmetic products
  • Guest Judge: Karolina Kurkova
  • WINNER: Fabio
  • ELIMINATED: Amanda

Episode 6: Thrown for a Loop by Betty Boop[edit]

Original airdate: February 8, 2018

Betty Boop joins Alyssa on the runway to challenge the designers to create young, chic Hollywood looks.[11]

  • Challenge: Create a young, chic Hollywood look for a modern Betty Boop
  • Guest Judge: Rebecca Minkoff
  • WINNER: Joshua

Episode 7: A Kick in the Astro[edit]

Original airdate: February 22, 2018

RuPaul and Jesse Tyler Ferguson join the judging panel for a spectacular avant-garde runway.[12]

  • Challenge: Create an avant-garde look inspired by the cosmos
  • Guest Judge: Jesse Tyler Ferguson & RuPaul
  • WINNER: Stanley
  • ELIMINATED: Kimberly

Episode 8: Mizrahi Madness[edit]

Original airdate: March 1, 2018

Isaac Mizrahi's exhibit serves as inspiration for colorful party looks; legendary supermodel Carmen Dell'Orefice serves as a guest judge.[13]

Designer Dominant Color
Stanley Pink
Ken Red
Fabio Green
Anthony Yellow
Helen Purple
Edmond Orange
Joshua Teal
Merline Blue
  • Challenge: Create a spring party look using a dominant and complementary color
  • Guest Judge: Carmen Dell'Orefice
  • WINNER: Stanley
  • ELIMINATED: Merline

Episode 9: Posen on the Red Carpet[edit]

Original airdate: March 8, 2018

Zac Posen invites the designers into his personal studio to gather material for red carpet looks that showcase a signature technique.[14]

  • Challenge: Create a red carpet look showcasing your signature technique
  • Guest Judge: Rosie Perez & Zac Posen
  • WINNER: Anthony
  • ELIMINATED: Joshua

Episode 10: Rock Your Face Off[edit]

Original airdate: March 15, 2018

The designers face off against one another to create performance wear for a music superstar.[15]

Rock Country Pop
Stanley Fabio Anthony
Edmond Helen Ken
  • Challenge: Create an outfit for a pop, rock or country performance
  • Guest Judge: Olivia Culpo
  • Guest mentor: Rebecca Minkoff
  • WINNER: Edmond

Episode 11: Nina's Crushing It[edit]

Original airdate: March 22, 2018

Nina Garcia challenges the designers to create resort wear inspired by different Candy Crush lands.[16]

  • Challenge: Create a resort wear look inspired by different lands in the Candy Crush kingdom
  • Guest Judge: Nina Garcia & Kelly Osbourne
  • WINNER: Ken
  • ELIMINATED: Edmond

Episode 12: History in the Making[edit]

Original airdate: March 29, 2018

At the Smithsonian in Washington , D.C., designers are challenged to create six-piece collections; a surprise runway sends one designer home early.[17]

  • Challenge: Create a six-piece collection to make your mark in American Fashion History
  • Twist: Create a signature look for an exclusive runway presentation
  • Guest Judge: Dita Von Teese & Zanna Roberts Rassi
  • ADVANCED: Stanley, Fabio, & Anthony

Episode 13: Making Fashion History[edit]

Original airdate: April 5, 2018

The final three designers race to create seven-piece collections that make their mark in fashion history; guest judges Catherine Zeta-Jones and Zac Posen.

  • Challenge: Create a seven-piece collection to make your mark in American fashion history
  • Guest Judge: Catherine Zeta-Jones & Zac Posen
  • WINNER: Anthony
  • ELIMINATED: Fabio & Stanley


External links[edit]


Alstars project runway

How ‘Project Runway All Stars’ Became an Ad for Nothing

Dmitry Sholokhov, left, and Sonjia Williams both appeared in Season 10 of “Project Runway.” Sholokhov is currently on Season 7 of “Project Runway All Stars.”

On many episodes of “Project Runway All Stars” Season 7, which airs its final episode Wednesday on Lifetime, the host and judge Alyssa Milano has announced that the week’s winning design will be sold on the following day.

Except that’s not true. Viewers who are looking for a ready-to-wear version of a winning look from “Runway” veterans like Dmitry Sholokhov or Irina Shabayeva are presented with a message on the department store chain’s website that the collaboration with J.C. Penney has been discontinued.

“Season 7 of ‘Project Runway All Stars’ was taped well before our collaboration with the show ended, and we were unaware that the season would begin airing in January 2019,” the company said in a statement via email. “Because of this unfortunate turn of events, J.C. Penney no longer had the agreement in place to produce or sell the winning looks.” Legally, the company says it couldn’t produce the designs.

The back story to J.C. Penney’s ghost sponsorship of the season involves the franchise’s producers, the Weinstein Company. Under the terms of the branding partnership, which began in the summer of 2017, the retailer would be the exclusive partner for two “Project Runway” seasons and “All Stars” Season 7, selling branded women’s clothing and producing versions of designs from winners and challenge episodes.

But after the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein were first reported that fall, things became complicated. Weinstein was fired by the board. The company went bankrupt. Lantern Capital Partners bought the Weinstein Company assets last year, and flipped the rights to “Project Runway” to NBCUniversal. At one point, it wasn’t clear whether the latest “All-Stars” season would ever air. (It was taped during the summer of 2017.)

Last October, J.C. Penney filed to dissolve the partnership as part of the Weinstein Company’s continuing bankruptcy proceedings. (Court documents show that the “Project Runway” producers were guaranteed $1.8 million a year in royalties in their two year deal with J.C. Penney. So far, they’ve received $1.44 million, and Weinstein Company creditors have filed a motion compelling the rest of the payments from the retailer.)

All of this presented a challenge for Lifetime, which has aired the “Project Runway” franchise for the last 10 years. (The series has since moved back to its original network, Bravo.) Through partnerships with brands like Dixie, Campbell Soup Company and the WWE, the show has pushed the boundaries of sponsored content well past the expected makeup, hair and sewing machine plugs, slathering the show in completely unsubtle and odd product placement. A recent challenge on “All Stars” involved silk because that week’s guest judge had just visited Thailand — with the help of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Fans have noticed, and bemoaned it. “There were always sponsored challenges on Bravo,” Ani Bundel wrote on the NBC News website earlier this year. “But at Lifetime this trend accelerated.”

And when it comes to J.C. Penney branding, “All Stars” Season 7 has gone all out. The retailer is name-checked by Milano and other contestants constantly. It’s built into the show’s staging, with a J.C. Penney accessory wall. One episode featured sponsored content right in the episode title (“Penneys from Heaven”). The brand’s presence is baked into the season’s DNA.

Despite this conundrum, Lifetime decided to air it anyway, as is, starting in January (roughly 18 months after filming) — which is why Milano has been telling viewers most weeks about an outfit they won’t be able to buy. It has been weird. There is no explanation or indication that the J.C. Penney partnership has ended — only a confusingly vague “Previously Recorded” message that appears in the corner of the screen every time the retailer is mentioned. (A Lifetime spokeswoman declined to comment on the record as to why the branding was left in despite the circumstances.)

To add to the bizarre nature of it all, the show often feels dated — one challenge involved designing an outfit inspired by the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Broadway musical, which closed a year before the season aired.

Milano did not mean to mislead viewers. She is blameless. And, in some ways, the overt branding for a company that actually filed legal documents to dissolve that advertising partnership is accidental high art. But for viewers, it can be disappointing: What is on air, isn’t actually happening. The experience is cheapened.

It turns out the J.C. Penney collaborations might not have been that great of a prize even when they existed.

“I wouldn’t say they’re missing out,” said Erin Robertson, who won “Project Runway” Season 15 and was the first designer to have a collection with the store. As part of the deal, her designs were supposed to “inspire” J.C. Penney products, but she was disappointed by how little the resulting wardrobe felt like her own. “We went to meetings and they were like, ‘We love these!’” she added. “And then they never did anything that we talked about.”

Robertson’s deal came about after she won her season; she signed a contract with the Weinstein Company and received an upfront fee. She said she was supposed to receive royalties, but did not.

For Kentaro Kameyama, whose line led him to victory in Season 16, the J.C. Penney collection “inspired by” his winning design was part of his prize on the show. The retailer met with him for a second collection as well, that he says was eventually produced without his name on it.

Like Robertson, he met with J.C. Penney and provided them with design inspiration and textiles. They were all very excited, he said, but then the company’s contact with him just stopped. Items similar to the designs he says he shared with the company later went on sale, without identifying him as the designer. He says his inquiries to J.C. Penney have gone unanswered. “I feel like they just felt they could take advantage of me,” Kameyama said. “They took my design, but they didn’t put my name on it.”

In response to Robertson and Kameyama’s comments, a spokeswoman for J.C. Penney provided a statement that said, in part, “the J.C. Penney agreement was with Weinstein Television, LLC. We never entered into any direct arrangements with the contestants/designers. We are not privy to the contract between the contestants/designers and Weinstein so we cannot speak to any royalties they may be owed.”

The company also clarified that the products inspired by Robertson and Kameyama’s designs were shipped “with a ‘Project Runway’ label and a ‘Winner’s Collection’ hangtag. We never produced clothing under any of the designer’s names.”

Perhaps the point of “Project Runway” is no longer the fashion or competition, but over-the-top product placement. There’s a new “Project Runway” now — Season 17 — on Bravo. There have been big changes, with a new host (Karlie Kloss has replaced Heidi Klum), mentor (Christian Siriano in place of Tim Gunn) and even a new production company (Magical Elves took over for Bunim/Murray).

But the ad blitz continues. In the season premiere, Siriano told contestants the show is providing them with all the tools they need, including “Pilot FriXion erasable pens for sketching.” The contestants oohed and aahed in unison. One even said “awesome.” It’s corny. But on the upside, at least the pen actually exists.

Project Runway All Stars: Final Season Supertease - Lifetime

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