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Tim Gunn reveals an unnamed supermodel and TV host told Heidi Klum to cancel and quit Project Runway

Tim Gunn may have confirmed something Project Runway fans have been pondering for months now.

In a letter the Making the Cut co-creator and host penned to his longtime “TV wife” Heidi Klum published by Good Housekeeping, the fashion guru dropped a brow-raising factoid about the origins of Project Runway.

Gunn, who served as a mentor to contestants on the fashion design competition series that ran on both Bravo and Lifetime, wrote about how nervous he was when he came aboard the show for its first season and how Klum “wrapped an arm” around him for comfort.

He went on to do the same. “Later in that season, I got to return one of your many kindnesses and offers of support. This time you were nervous about how the show would be received,” he wrote. “You had shown a preview to so-and-so (another supermodel and host of another fashion-related show) who said to you, ‘It looks awful. Cancel the show and quit.’ This time, I took your hand and we sat and huddled.”

He continued, “‘Think about it,’ I remember saying. ‘She’s nervous and jealous. You and this show are competition for her. She wants to make you nervous and upset. Trust me. There’s nothing to be concerned about and everything to feel confident about.’ You leaned over and kissed me. And we had a fabulous season!”

Signs indicate this unnamed model and TV host may have been Tyra Banks. Project Runway premiered in 2004, and the Banks-hosted America’s Next Top Model had been airing since 2003.

This past March, Jay Manuel, a.k.a. Mr. Jay on ANTM, appeared on the Just the Sip podcast with host Justin Sylvester and recalled an exchange between Klum and Banks during a Victoria’s Secret shoot.

“I was still doing [Banks’] makeup at the time,” he said. “Heidi was in the chair next to her. She was having her hair blown out and she goes, ‘You know what would be amazing? What if you did the same show but with designers?’ And catch this, Tyra went, ‘That’ll never work. Designers aren’t as interesting.’ And Heidi just went off and was like, ‘Okay,’ and [Project Runway executive producer] Desiree Gruber and Heidi said, ‘Oh, we got a show for you and it’s gonna be called Project Runway.’ Boom! Born.”

“Needless to say, ‘that other show’ became a big hit,” Gunn wrote in his letter, referring to Project Runway. “We made 16 seasons together! Remember the night of our Emmy win for cohosts? That show dragged on and on and on with our category being second to last. At every break, we snuck out for champagne, lots of champagne. By the time the show finally got to our category, we were bombed — nervous, jittery, laughing bombed. WE WON!”

Representatives for Banks didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

The second season of Gunn and Klum’s new fashion design competition series together, Making the Cut, is set to premiere July 16 on Amazon Prime Video, with new episodes available weekly.


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Heidi Klum says it’s ‘about time’ for Victoria’s Secret rebrand

Year after hanging up her wings, Heidi Klum is opening up about the Victoria’s Secret rebrand.

The former VS Angel, 48, spoke out about the lingerie brand’s upcoming overhaul on Sunday, saying that “things do need to change.”

“About time, is all I can say. About time,” the supermodel told The Sunday Project of the relaunch, which Victoria’s Secret announced in June after receiving years of backlash and cancelling their famed fashion shows in 2019.

“As a model, you go there, you are happy to have a job. When you are not the company, you do what you are told. But finally, looking at this now, I’m like, about time,” Klum, who was an Angel from 1999 to 2010, continued.

While the “America’s Got Talent” judge recognized that the lingerie brand has “been changing,” she went on to admit that “it’s been taking too long.”

Rather than Angels, the brand’s shift will center the “VS Collective,” a group of women including Megan Rapinoe and Priyanka Chopra who “share a common passion to drive positive change.”

The rebrand also includes the launch of The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers, which the brand says will tie in with their “mission of being a champion for all women.”

Klum further shared her thoughts in an interview with Body + Soul, telling the Australian publication that she’s “very excited that they’re understanding there are so many different people out there who want to have beautiful things to wear.”

While she emphasized the need for change, Klum also shared fond memories of modeling for the brand.

“I was always with Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrósio, Adriana Lima – they’re still friends of mine, we travelled the world and did so many fun things together,” recalled the model, who said she “always loved the brand” while working for them “many moons ago.”

The catwalker, whose memorable Victoria’s Secret moments include walking in the 2003 show while pregnant and being serenaded by then-husband Seal in 2007, ended her long run as an Angel in 2010, telling Page Six at the time that “all good things have to come to an end” and that she would “always love Victoria’s Secret.”


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Heidi Klum Not Planning 2021 Halloween Party: ‘I Feel Like It’s Insensitive’

For the second year in a row, Heidi Klum will not be throwing her annual Halloween party, TooFab has confirmed.

Speaking with the supermodel ahead of the Season 2 premiere of “Making the Cut” on Prime Video, Klum said it still felt “insensitive” to plan for the annual soiree amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“With everything happening in the world right now, I feel like it’s still too early for me to feel okay having a party,” she said. “So I will not do that this year again. Like last year, I feel like it’s insensitive of me to do that. I don’t want anyone to get hurt because of we’re having fun on my dime so I don’t want to do that.”

In 2020, Klum celebrated at home and got her whole family in on the action as her kids transformed into mummies — using toilet paper everyone hoarded at the start of lockdown. She then hid from them using full-body paint to blend into her surroundings, including her bed.

While it may not have been as crazy as her Jessica Rabbit, Princess Fiona and “Thriller” costumes from years past, it was still an impressive fete. Though there’s no party again this year, she did tease she has something for fans to look forward to.

“I kind of want to sit out one more year but I definitely, I’m already working on something, because I’m also a creative person, and I live for that, that’s why I get up every morning because I love it,” she added. “I love doing it to myself. I love watching amazing artists doing crazy things, so I’m definitely doing something because I just have to, for my own, you know?”