Supermodel Heidi Klum and fashion expert Tim Gunn shocked the TV fashion world today by walking away from "Project Runway" after 16 seasons to start a new "fashion reality show" on Amazon.
Designer Zac Posen is also leaving the series, ending his six-year association with the Peabody Award-winning program.
Details on the new Amazon venture are sketchy, though it promises to provide viewers with "a shoppable experience."
The surprise announcement by Klum and Gunn sparked speculation that "Project Runway" may not see a 17th season. The reality show is supposed to return to Bravo after a nine-year run at Lifetime.
For the moment, however, Klum and Gunn are focused on saying a proper goodbye to the popular program they helped create back in 2004.
"I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart," said Klum, 45, adding, "I am so grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers' careers."
Gunn, 65, thanked "Project Runway" for "putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me."
The former faculty member of New York's Parsons School of Design also said he felt indebted to the show's "incredible" fans. "They are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena," said Gunn. "I'm excited for them to see what's next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great 'fashion' adventure."
"Project Runway," a competition series among young, aspiring designers, premiered on Bravo in 2004 and moved to Lifetime in 2009.
Despite the surprise defections of its two stars, Bravo insists the show will go on.
"The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo's reboot for the next generation of designers and fans," the network said in a statement. "We are excited to announced our new host and mentor very soon."
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