Exclusive: Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn on what it takes to make the cut

Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum
Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum. Pic credit: Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

Even though people wore a lot of sweatpants and only dressed from the waist up to do Zoom business calls during the pandemic, that didn’t keep the winning designs from season one of Making the Cut from finding buyers, so much so that Amazon, who distributes both the show and sells the winning designs agreed to a second season.

“It did actually really, really well to the point where I was in disbelief, because, especially during the pandemic, I thought, ‘Okay, everyone is now going to hold on to their money. No one is going to want to spend anything,’” Heidi Klum, who hosts, judges, and executive producers the series, tells Monsters & Critics in this exclusive interview. “Actually, it came as a surprise that people were buying.”

And host, mentor and executive producer Tim Gunn chimes in, “I shared Heidi’s concerns about people spending any money, but our winning look from each episode sold out in 48 hours, so that’s pretty phenomenal.”

Filmed during the pandemic, season two takes place in a new city – Los Angeles — with new designers, but the same great sense of style, as it once again searches for the next great global fashion brand and designer.

Klum and Gunn will be joined by supermodel Winnie Harlow and fashion pop icon and Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott, who will serve as judges.

At the end of the season, they will award one of the group of 10 talented entrepreneurs and designers from around the world $1 million in prize money, the opportunity to sell a collection in Amazon Fashion’s store, and a mentorship with Amazon Fashion.

Heidi Klum, Jeremy Scott, Winnie Harlow from Making The Cut
Heidi Klum, Jeremy Scott, Winnie Harlow. Pic credit: Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

Monsters & Critics: This show is more a combination of art and commerce, so when you’re casting, how do you find designers who have the business aspect?

Heidi Klum: They all do have small businesses already. When we did a different show before, it was people who had other jobs and their hobby was sewing in their basement a little bit. Here we have established designers in the places where they live across the world. But, obviously, not to the extent that we want them to be. We want to boost them and help them. Make them a household name like a real global brand that people know around the world.

With Amazon, we will be selling globally, so you have this small brand of a super talented person and now everyone gets to see what this person can do, so it is a win-win situation for all the 10 designers because they all have the opportunity to be seen by the world.

Also, every week when we give them an assignment, they have the opportunity to get a winning look that people can shop from around the world.

But we find them from the videos they send us; they send us their portfolios. It is so many to go through, and then, obviously, you have talks with them to make sure because they have to be able to speak a little. You can’t be super quiet and super scared to talk when you have an interview or a camera in your face. Even though a lot of times in the beginning they are, “This is new. This is different,” it is one day past and they’ve forgotten all about it.

M&C: Since Amazon is selling the clothes, how much input do they have each episode on the final decision? Do they weigh in?

Heidi Klum: No.

Tim Gunn: No. Actually, Amazon Fashion is sent images and if something alarms them…

Heidi Klum: …or if something is not physically doable…

Tim Gunn: But that has not happened.

Heidi Klum: Obviously, we need to be able to manufacture everything. We haven’t gotten a call, “No, the one you want, we can’t have.” We have not had that.

Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum posing in matching suits
Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum. Pic credit: Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

M&C: You say this isn’t a sewing competition, but there are several times when the overnight seamstresses don’t get it right or the garment finished, so the designers have to sew. And Olivia wasn’t happy that Andrea couldn’t sew. So, isn’t it really still an issue?

Tim Gunn: Yes, they do. They need to know how to execute a garment. It’s like an architect, you need to know how to build the building. Are you going to build it in real life? Are these brand creative directors and managers going to be making their own clothes? No, they’re not. It is why we bring in the seamstress teams for them to oversee. But the seamstresses only sew, they don’t cut, they don’t do pattern making. So, the designers have to be deft at execution.

The comments about Andrea not knowing how to sew, indeed she does.

Heidi Klum: I think Olivia was just being snarky.

M&C: Since this is more geared to immediate sales on Amazon, do you miss the fun of the unconventional challenge where the designers had to create a look without fabric on Project Runway? They were always so creative.

Heidi Klum: The unconventional challenge was also my most fun, I also feel like it was also borderline arts and crafts. Now we really want to make real clothes. Again, on Project Runway, there was always the winning look, and you saw it on TV, but then it was gone. A lot of times, it was glued together with a glue gun or whatever. It looked fantastic, but now we are making real clothes for real people around the world, people who work all day long to spend money to buy something, so we want to make real fashion.

We want to have a real brand, so we didn’t want to do things with a glue gun anymore. This is serious. This is business. We are giving someone a million dollars at the end of this. I only know one other show that does that, so I feel there is the biggest prize ticket at the end. So, people need to be skilled, but more so, they need to understand who they are as a designer and who are they designing for.

Making the Cut Season 2 begins streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday, July 16. Two new episodes drop every week culminating in the finale on August 6, 2021.

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