NBC Debuts FashionStar Offering New Designers Retail Fashion Deals

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Pictured: Celeb ‘mentors’ Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson with designer John Varvatos

Tonight NBC launched it’s answer to Project Runway : Fashion Star.  Judging by the number of Tweets I saw, many of you watched it.   The show is  a reality show designed to be a competition for unknown to designers to sell their lines to three retailers, H&M, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  That’s a nice range of price points by retailers for the designers to play within. The premise of the show is that every week fourteen hopeful fashion designers will compete to sell their clothes to the three retailers.  Instead of the judges fashion editor and regular household name designer (Michael Kors) like there are on Project Runway, Fashion Star offers a panel of mentors, Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and designer John Varvatos, will advise, er offer sometimes bitchy & critical comments to the contestants.  At the end of each episode, US buyers can purchase the winning designs from the weekly competition at the winning buyers’ corresponding store.  The smart marketing mavens at H&M already put up two garments from Fashion Star at

Pictured: The H&M Fashion Star Blue Dress retails for $19.99

The blue Sarah dress from the H&M e-commerce Fashion Star page is already sold out, but you can look for it in stores tomorrow. Saks Fifth Avenue promises to showcase their picks soon and is running a Fashion Star contest on their website until then.  Macy’s also promises to have the offerings in store soon. If you watched the show, what did you think? I thought it was interesting especially with Tweets from the mentors showcased.  But with all that social media integration, why no crowd sourcing?  Why not let the Tweeps tell the buyers what they want to buy from the contestants via Social Media?  I know from the Twitter conversations that there were people who wanted to buy Oscar’s Black Dress but no buyers picked that.  Seems like a wasted opportunity to give the people what they want.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.