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After ten seasons as the lead judge on Project Runway, Michael Kors has left the FIT building—and been replaced by designer Zac Posen. Last night was Zac's debut on the premier of Season 11. So how do the two compare?
Both designers are New York born, but Kors grew up quite a few years (read: decades) earlier in Long Island while Posen was a SoHo kid. The two areas may be geographically close, but they are culturally miles apart. And while Kors was an FIT dropout, Posen studied at London's legendary Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and was mentored at The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Even though Kors headed Celine for a while, he is best known for simple classic American sportswear, which has made him one of the country's most successful designers. Meanwhile Posen's runway creations are so innovative and architecturally complex, that they're actually museum worthy. His ready-to-wear Z Spoke brand is still only available in a handful of stores, however.
As for their behavior on the show...
Kors became legendary as the hyper-tan judge with great design insights—which he often cloaked in truly witty barbs. Isaac Mizrahi tries to fill a similar role on Project Runway All Stars, but his humor is never quite as sharp.
So where does Posen fit in? Judging by this first episode, he didn't seem like he was trying to be the new Michael Kors. The adorable designer gave articulate and honest criticism, and didn't spew a parade of witty insults like some kind of fashion world Lisa Lampinelli. We're not saying he was barb-free (he did describe one designer's work as "Intern couture") but overall, it seems like he's going to be bringing a very different tone to the show—and not just because of his complexion.
We'll definitely miss Michael Kors' creative bitchiness—no one could describe a badly sewn crotch like he could—but we're looking forward to seeing where Zac Posen takes us.
· All Project Runway Posts [Racked]
· These Zac Posen Tie Belts Are Cray [Official Site]