If you've been wondering where Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum went since they exited Project Runway after Season 16, they've been creating an Amazon Prime rival to the hit reality series — Making the Cut. While Project Runway offers designers the chance to win $250,000 and the chance to put on their own runway show during Fashion Week, the prize package for Making the Cut is quite different.
After each episode, the winning design will be available for viewers to purchase on Amazon — for under $100.
At the end, the winner will receive a $1 million investment into their brand, which means the Making the Cut alums might be on the fast track to mainstream success. The contestants on the first season of the Prime series are from all over the world. One is Esther Perbandt, a German designer who has already won the hearts of viewers for her kind attitude.
Plus, her design in the first episode won praise from judges Naomi Campbell and Nicole Richie.
Who is Esther from Making the Cut? Read on to find out more about the designer, and for the details of her celebrated looks.
Who is Esther from 'Making the Cut'?
The 43-year-old designer immediately won the attention of the judges in the premiere episode of the show, making her a threat for the other designers. Esther was born and raised in Germany, and she noted that her design inspiration is derived from three cities: Berlin, Moscow, and Paris (which is good, considering that Making the Cut filmed in Paris).
Per Esther's website, she was also inspired by the time period in which she grew up: the '70s and the '80s. She was raised by parents who encouraged her to attend marches and demonstrations for equal rights, and she notes that helped her develop an avant garde aesthetic.
She's designed for theatrical productions before, and for movies. When she's not designing, Esther also makes her own music.
On the show, Esther explained that she's not a seamstress, so she was concerned with how she'd be able to complete her looks.
Esther's designs are non-binary, and fellow designer Rinat pointed out in the first episode that Esther's design figures featured a shape that was both masculine and feminine.
"I have no kids. I have no husband. This brand is my baby," Esther said on the show about her eponymous label. "I am the queen of black in Berlin. My collection is the collection for strong personalities. I'm seen by other people as a very strong woman. Whenever a woman comes and buys a piece in my store, they always buy a little piece of my personality, which is sewn into that garment. Maybe they buy a piece of that strength, and when they wear it, they can feel it."
Esther is a fan favorite for 'Making the Cut' — here's why.
In the first episode, it seemed like Esther was going to be the first designer to go home. She was the last one working the night before the fashion show, and when she returned to the workroom, she realized that her sewing was all wrong.
With only two hours before the fashion show, Esther had to reinvent her three looks. After the fashion show, Esther received her critiques from the judges.
Much to her surprise, Esther got high praise from the judges — Nicole and Naomi wanted to buy her looks, and Heidi was proud of her "fellow German." Esther won the first episode, and her design is now available for purchase in the Making the Cut store on Amazon for $64.90.
The first two episodes of Making the Cut are available to stream on Amazon Prime. New episodes debut on Fridays.