"Designers, make it work!"
Anyone who recognizes former Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn's signature catchphrase is probably a fan of the fashion design show. The premise of Project Runway is simple: 12 or more contestants compete for the chance to create a collection for New York Fashion Week. Week by week, the designers complete challenges until there are only three contestants left to compete in the finale.
The highest degree of creativity is encouraged, and past challenges have included everything from crafting outfits from apartment furnishings to creating looks inspired by Hershey's Kisses. But fans at home are curious about the seemingly endless design warehouse that operates as the show's primary setting. Where is Project Runway filmed? Read on for the scoop.
Where is 'Project Runway' filmed? The show's location has changed places over the years.
The first several seasons of the show were filmed in New York City, at The New School University's Parsons School for Design. Design materials were shopped for at the now-trendy Mood Designer Fabrics, located in New York's Garment District. The designers would live together at Atlas New York, an apartment building near Parsons.
The show's location was stable for Seasons 1 through 5, but there was a brief shakeup during Season 6. When the show's network briefly changed from Bravo to Lifetime, the show's location swapped coasts and moved to L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Technology. Thankfully, Project Runway transferred back to New York City for Season 7, and thereafter, the show became permanently set in New York.
However, just because the show moved back to New York doesn't mean it was able to keep all the same locations. Per Reality Blurred, the reason the show is not filmed at Parsons anymore is because Parsons is moving its fashion school to Greenwich Village, and the university "no longer has the facilities to accommodate the program."
Instead, the show's executive producer, Sara Rea, revealed that Project Runway moved to GUM Studios in Long Island City, a soundstage near the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The studio opened in 2019 after being previously located in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the show moved to GUM Studios shortly after its opening.
When asked if a shift in location changed anything about the show, Sara had this to say: "The move did not affect production. Most of the time spent on the show is in the workroom, and that never changed."
"We go to Mood various times through the season as it warrants for the challenge," she continued. "If it's an unconventional challenge ... there is no reason for the designers to go to Mood."
'Project Runway' has also changed networks a few times in its 16-year run.
From 2009 through 2017, Project Runway was a Lifetime show. The show encountered legal issues before and after the network swap, with Season 6 being delayed due to Lifetime's legal battles with NBC Universal. In 2018, as a result of producer The Weinstein Company's bankruptcy, Project Runway returned to its original home on Bravo.
Tune into Project Runway Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.