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2012 March 12

'Fashion Star' Searches For Next Retail Successes

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Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, Elle Macpherson, and Jessica Simpson Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, Elle Macpherson, and Jessica Simpson
Courtesy NBC
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(NEW YORK) A diverse trio of retailers trawling for talent—H&M, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue—is on board for NBC's Fashion Star, a design challenge show that focuses on sales figures in mind just as much, if not more than, the silhouettes. Hosted by Elle Macpherson and featuring Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson, and John Varvatos as advice-dispensing mentors, the show's 14 design aspirants will trot their looks out for a set of buyers from the powerful and varied retail trifecta. Instant gratification and fast fashion are the show's M.O.'s, as each week's winners will immediately see their hard work get racked at the top-bidding store of the episode.

For the designs which catch H&M's attention, the e-commerce component will commence here as soon as the credits roll, followed by in-store shipments arriving the next day. "The show is extremely competitive and my main priority is to choose garments that work into our current merchandising mix and reflect our brand," said Nicole Christie, H&M's communications manager and former buyer who will appear on the show as one of three judges. "We want to show everyone involved and the viewers alike that fashion is not a matter of price." 

After whetting their retailing appetites with one-off wins throughout the season, the final three contestants will whip up full collections. The ultimate winner will nab coveted floor space (and the funds to fill said retail real estate) at Saks, Macy's and H&M. A decidedly democratic glimpse into the future of fashion, or fashion-focused TV, at least? Check out tomorrow evening's series premiere, clocking in at an hour and a half for the first episode, and decide for yourself.
ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV 




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