Calling All Fashionistas, Netflix Has an Original Series for You

Any girl who gets excited about “Project Runway” without the cable budget can now watch it on Netflix. The streaming service officially announced “Next in Fashion” as an entertainment show where 18 designers compete for $250,000 and a partnership with Net-a-Porter (an online luxury design retailer). Each episode, contestants cultivate their own looks within a custom made workshop and watch as their pieces strut the runway in front of a celebrity panel. Tan France, “Queer Eye” star and designer of women's wear brand Kingdom and State, co-hosts the show with TV personality, model and designer Alexa Chung. The show also includes guests hosts such as model Adrianna Lima, designer Tommy Hilfiger, Instagram director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen and the vice president of design at Adidas Josefine Aberg. This gives designers a chance to learn from the best and perfect their craft, while those watching at home can fangirl and awe at all their glory.

The pair – that is Tan France and Alexa Chung - are a match made in heaven. They met at a London Fashion Week party, at which a drunk France met a celebratory Chung who just concluded her Alexa Chung Autumn/Winter 2019 show. In that moment, France, already selected as a judge, offered the co-host role to Chung who agreed to join him. The two both have active fashion careers and have established a history within the fashion industry.

Both United Kingdom natives advocate for diversity and inclusiveness within the series. France recognizes the fashion world as a global phenomenon, and Netflix appeals to a global audience, guaranteeing the same representation in the season.

The 18 contestants all have expansive fashion backgrounds from China, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Kingdom, India and the United States to name a few. Designers descend from all around the globe to make a name for themselves.

In a PinkNews article, France makes a clear distinction that the show does not intend to replicate “Project Runway.” He notes that the content focuses less on workspace drama and more on inclusiveness and design.

“You’re really rooting for people in our show, and I think when you break it down it comes from the fact that Alexa and I, and our relationship, sets the tone. I love that and I feel like it makes for a very different show,” France said.

The dynamic duo have previous experience within the fashion realm and its demands. In one interview, France recalls having a mental breakdown and a wave of depression when transcribing his ideas into completed pieces. As a judge, he understands the hardships of being an up-and-coming designer. Chung also recognizes the weight of her role as a judge and the life-changing power that they yield.

“It’s knowing that this could (be) life-changing and feeling the responsibility of that,” Chung said. “It was tough.”

And you can’t leave out the craftsmanship that goes into designing a piece or an entire collection. The show shifts the spotlight away from fast fashion and shines a light over the meticulously detailed design process.

"One of the benefits of doing this show was being able to educate people about the process of creation and the idea that you're paying for the fabric, you're paying for production, ideas and people's time," Alexa said.

The “Next in Fashion” diverse cast not only strays away from the typical design series, but also escapes the restraining grasp of the American market. In a BBC article, Chung said that some fashion houses display your hard work, but fail to give you the praise you deserve. Many consumers don’t know the names of the designers behind grand luxury brands, and they hope to shed a light on that issue.

"It's quite typical that you can be one of the most talented people at a company, but you're not necessarily the name of the house," she told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“Next in Fashion” gives designers an opportunity to display their talent at a global scale and showcase it under their own names.