Project Runway turns 10 with an all-new cast of designers

Oh, Tim Gunn, how we’ve missed you. After Project Runway’s limp spinoff, Project Runway: All Stars, fell far short of expectations, seeing Michael Kors ruddy, orange face again is a welcome treat. Luckily, the whole Project Runway gang is back for Season Ten, premiering tonight at 9pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

Gunn will mentor sixteen all-new designers as they try to impress those oh-so-tough-to-please judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. The winning designer will receive $100,000 from L’Oréal Paris to start his/her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a new Lexus and a whole bunch of other awesome stuff. Lifetime is also launching a multi-format social media campaign this season, so viewers can join in the fun. Fans will be able to share videos and images, participate in design challenges and tweet their favorite Project Runway moments.

After watching Project Runway over the years, the audience has come to understand judging criteria. Heidi, Nina and Michael like things that they haven’t seen before, but the designs can never be too far out of the norm (unless it’s an avant-garde challenge). New, well-executed twists on old ideas work best, and the judges always spare some thoughts for the “mass appeal” of a garment. That is why self-proclaimed artists tend to go home early and trained designers with a background in marketing tend to go far. Granted, any given challenge can break a talented designer or keep a mediocre designer at 2nd worst indefinitely (<cough> Michael Costello).

With that in mind, meet the new cast.

Meet Project Runway Season Ten Designers

Alicia Hardesty, 27 – Hometown: Brandenburg, KY; Resides in: Los Angeles, CA
Andrea Katz, 58 – Hometown: Oceanside, NY; Resides in: New York, NY
Beatrice Guapo, 29 – Hometown: Orange County, CA; Resides in: Marina del Rey, CA
Buffi Jashanmal, 32 – Hometown: London, England/Dubai UAE; Resides in: New York, NY
Christopher Palu, 24 – Hometown: Brooklyn, NY; Resides in: Massapequa, NY
Dmitry Sholokhov, 33 – Hometown: Novopolotsk, Belarus; Resides in: New York, NY
Elena Slivnyak, 28 – Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine; Resides in: Daly City, CA
Fabio Costa, 29 – Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Resides in: Brooklyn, NY
Gunnar Deatherage, 22 – Hometown: LaGrange, Kentucky; Resides in: Louisville, KY
Kooan Kosuke, 30 – Hometown: Himeji-shi, Japan; Resides in: Queens, NY
Lantie Foster, 48 – Hometown: Sacramento, CA; Resides in: New York, NY
Melissa Fleis, 31 – Hometown: Rogers City, MI; Resides in: San Francisco, CA
Nathan McDonald, 33 – Hometown: Zanesville, OH; Resides in: New York, NY
Raul Osorio, 27 – Hometown: Canoga Park, CA/Honduras; Resides in: Minneapolis, MN
Sonjia Williams, 27- Hometown: Boston, MA; Resides in: Woodside, NY
Ven Budhu, 28 – Hometown: Berbice, Guyana; Resides in: Kew Gardens, NY