It’s the end of the catwalk for Project Runway host Heidi Klum. The model officially announced she was leaving the reality show on September 7 and absolutely understands that the fans aren’t thrilled about the decision.
“Our fans are upset, you know, because we have a great audience. People loved us for 16 years. I guess they were maybe upset that they’ll never see us again, but Tim [Gunn] and I are sticking together,” Klum, 45, told Us Weekly exclusively at the America’s Got Talent taping in Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 11.
Klum has hosted the show for 16 seasons while Tim Gunn, 65, has been a mentor to the designers since the beginning. However, the former Victoria’s Secret model has some advice for the reality show: replace Gunn with the show’s season 4 winner, Christian Siriano.
“He should be the new Tim Gunn if you ask me, but I don’t know what they’re doing,” Klum told Us. “For the first time, they have the opportunity that people can personally buy their clothes. This was never the case before, that’s also a huge plus. We have a lot of other things that we’re sewing together basically.”
Siriano, 32, won in 2008 and became one of the franchise’s most successful winners, launching a collection shortly after the show. He’s collaborated with Puma, Playless, Victoria’s Secret, HLN and Spiegler.
As previously announced, Gunn and Klum are creating a new reality series for Amazon, but have yet to share the details. However, they opened up to Us.
“We cooked up something, I think, spectacular. We’re also now reaching the world, we’re going to 200 countries, going into people’s homes. I think the aspect that an audience could possibly buy what they love, what they’ve just seen, is not only best for the audience but also really is for the designers,” she continued. “It’s really hard to break into this industry. You could even win a show but then if you don’t have backers to give you money and all the stuff that you can actually create a label and do all that — that hardly ever happens. You have to be really lucky.”
Klum also added that she and Gunn are like a very “odd married couple,” and still have one goal in mind: “It’s always the designers.”
“I’m a creative person, I cooked this up in my brain, so I hope people love what I’m cooking up,” she said about the new series.
Season 17 of Project Runway is set to premiere on Bravo in 2019. No premiere date has been announced.
With reporting by Taylor Ferber.