Making the Cut, Amazon’s fashion-focused reality series where designers compete for a hefty financial investment and storefront on Amazon Fashion, just premiered its second season, and it’s a breath of fresh air compared with what we’ve gotten used to with reality competitions. Whether you’re in it for the fashion, the entrepreneurship, or just a bit of escapism, it’s must-watch streaming.
At the core it’s good TV that’s also mission-based. In their intro meet-cute, hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn both talk about how the fashion world has dramatically quaked throughout the past year, with brands shuttering and designers stepping back. Hearing the pair speak to-camera about how they want to find, nurture, and develop the next global fashion brand feels legitimately heartwarming. The structure of the show, with a prize that includes mentorship with and a chance to sell on Amazon Fashion, puts money where their mouths are. There’s real cash too: The winner will receive one million dollars, an investment that is vital for a small brand.
As viewers, we’ve gotten so used to reality competitions that pit people against each other (often fueled by copious amounts of alcohol) and hosts that are there for snark, not support. I can’t stress enough how much Making the Cut does not feel like that. There’s a little bit of cattiness sometimes in the bubble, but it’s nothing compared to some of what you’ve seen on your screen.
The heart of the show lies with Tim and Heidi, and mostly the former in my opinion. Feedback that coined a catchphrase is thoughtful, intelligent, and meant to help the receiver consider what they’re building, not tear them down. You get the feeling that the challenges aren’t designed to create good TV either, but to really help the people on the show. (Episode one includes an interview segment that asked the designers to explain their brand statements and how they’d retain customers, two questions worthy of anyone who wants to launch a brand).
Intrigued? It’s filled with style inspiration from the runway looks to what the designers themselves are wearing, but it’s so much more than that. See some of the specifics below, then check Amazon for two new episodes every Friday.
Making the Cut reunited Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn as hosts; for the second season, they’re joined by Winnie Harlow and Moschino’s Jeremy Scott (a man who definitely knows about making fashion go viral). Guest hosts pop in throughout the season, too, and names will include Prabal Gurung and Shiona Turini.
There are 10 contestants, down from last season’s 12, and as before each has an already established label. There’s some legit fashion-world cred amongst them all, too. Gary Graham’s line was at Barneys and he was a CFDA Fashion Fund finalist in 2009; Joshua Scacheri has been included in high-glossy fashion editorials; and Paris-based Lucie Brochard’s designs have been worn by First Ladies.
Where’s it set?
Los Angeles—an ultra-glam quarantine bubble in Malibu to be exact. The talent pool is definitely global, though, with contestants drawn from all over (like Colombia, Poland, and Paris, plus some who won’t settle for a single influence—here’s looking at you, Australian-Italian based in London).
Wait, I heard I can shop the show?
True! The winning look from each challenge will be available in Amazon’s Making the Cut store immediately following the episode’s conclusion. Quantities are limited (though after watching styles sell out almost immediately during season one, there’s a bit more being made this go around).
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