Project Runway Canada judges, mentor announced

From a media release:

Brian Bailey Announced As Mentor, Rita Silvan and Shawn Hewson Round Out Panel of Judges

  • Project Runway Canada Debuts This Fall on Slice

Slice™, Insight Production Company Ltd. and FremantleMedia Enterprises announced today that Canadian designer Brian Bailey will serve as Mentor on the highly-anticipated Project Runway Canada, guiding the competitors through each of their challenges. ELLE Canada Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rita Silvan and Designer Shawn Hewson, founder of Bustle Clothing will also join host Iman as judges for the series, charged with evaluating – and eliminating – the budding designers. Project Runway Canada premieres on Slice™ in October 2007.

“Project Runway Canada is about showcasing Canadian designers and giving them a platform from which to launch exciting careers in the notoriously difficult-to-crack fashion industry, so we’ve ensured that we have the best in Canadian fashion heading up our panel of industry luminaries to guide the designers along their way. While only one of the designer hopefuls will be declared the ultimate winner, we have no doubt that after learning from Iman, Brian, Rita and Shawn – each will have what it takes to be successful,” says Vanessa Case, Vice President, Content, Sliceâ„¢.

“We couldn’t imagine a more experienced, talented or personable designer to be our mentor than Brian Bailey. Our competitors will truly benefit from their experience with him.” says John Brunton, Executive Producer and President and CEO of Insight Productions. “Rita and Shawn bring such incredible experience and varied perspective to our illustrious judging panel. Joined with Iman, they will truly be the guardians of the highest bar of quality that we have set for our show and our designers.”

The series will find 12 designers competing for the once-in-lifetime chance to show collections at a premiere Canadian fashion event in fall 2007. Ultimately, one designer will claim their rightful place in the spotlight, winning the top prize, including $100,000 to begin their own fashion line and a feature spread showing their winning collection in the pages of the country’s foremost fashion magazine.

Produced by Insight Production Company Ltd, the highly-anticipated Canadian adaptation of the Emmy-nominated U.S. series, developed by Miramax and The Weinstein Company for Bravo, will air exclusively on Sliceâ„¢. The Project Runway format is licensed to Insight Production Company Ltd. by FremantleMedia Enterprises, the commercial division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest creators, producers, distributors and licensors of programmes brands in the world.

Brian Bailey
Mentor, Project Runway Canada
Brian Bailey is in the master class of Canadian fashion designers. Celebrated for his sophisticated, urban sportswear collections and all-out glamourous evening wear, he has also earned accolades as an innovator and motivator in his commitment to, and promotion of, Canadian fashion and talent. An industry leader and style maker, Bailey’s legion of fans run the gamut of fashion editors, international celebrities and Canadian women from coast-to-coast. Bailey’s love of fashion began in retail menswear in his native Alberta, and quickly progressed via promotion to buyer for the chain’s thirty-three stores. A stint as a visual merchandiser for The Hudson’s Bay Company came next. But it was his move to Toronto to attend Ryerson Polytechnic University Fashion Design Program that sealed his future and was the launch pad for his career. Bailey, in 1983, was hired by the well-established manufacturer Bernard Cowan. His flair for design soon revitalized the company and in 1988, Bailey began designing his own label under licensing agreement with the House of Cowan.

Since launching his eponymous women’s sportswear collection in 1992, Bailey has continued to strive to create contemporary designs for the wardrobe needs of today’s women. Impeccable tailoring and his use of fabrications that flatter the female form are hallmarks of his style. Not shy to cater to the needs of all women, Bailey was the first Canadian designer to create collections in both regular and plus sizes. His collections have sold in specialty boutiques and fine department stores including Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and The Bay, Harrods and Selfridges, in the United Kingdom. In early 2000, the doors opened on two Brian Bailey Boutiques in Toronto, Canada. These award winning signature stores showcase his seasonal ready-to-wear collections and spotlight Bailey’s remarkable red-carpet worthy gowns and special occasion evening wear. Not content to rest on his laurels, in April 2007 Bailey combined his signature style and understanding of the fashion business to create a very wearable, affordable designer collection that could reach women across the country. A true showman, Bailey stepped in front of the cameras and premiered this made-in-Canada capsule collection designed exclusively for The Shopping Channel. In less than 24 hours, the collection was a sell-out and Brian Bailey had the highest rated designer launch in The Shopping Channel history. With over 20 years in the fashion industry, the name Brian Bailey is synonymous with outstanding quality, exceptional design and fabulous style.

Rita Silvan
Judge, Project Runway Canada
Rita Silvan is one of the founding editors of ELLE Canada. Launched in March 2001, today, ELLE Canada reaches over 1.5 million readers and is among Canada¹s top ten fastest growing consumer magazines in both newsstand and subscription performance. In addition, the magazine is the recipient of multiple National Magazine Awards for fashion editorials, spot illustration and humour writing, a Canadian Newsstand Excellence Award and the Best Fragrance Editorial Award. Silvan appears regularly on local and national television and radio, including Star! Daily, Breakfast Television (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary), CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio One, and Canada AM. She is the co-author of Fabulous Fakes: A Passion for Vintage Costume Jewellery (Artisan). Silvan is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she received her B.Sc. She resides in Toronto.

Shawn Hewson
Judge, Project Runway Canada
Shawn Hewson was born in Montreal, Canada and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, where he attended high-school and University. In 1995, Hewson moved to Toronto to attend Law School at the University of Toronto, following which he pursued a career as a corporate lawyer at a large downtown law firm. In 2002, Shawn and his wife, Ruth Promislow – both practicing lawyers – founded Bustle Clothing, launching the brand with a line of men’s and ladies’ t-shirts. After a successful season as a t-shirt line, Bustle was expanded to a small collection of men’s and ladies’ sportswear pieces. The aesthetic of Bustle caught the attention of the fashion community, and the collections, as well as the brand, continued to grow. In 2004, Shawn left his career in law to focus on Bustle full time. Now in its 10th season, Bustle has become a leading Canadian sportswear label, known for its cheeky, sexy, and sharply tailored leisure aesthetic. Shawn and Bustle have been retained for numerous custom projects, including designing for brands such as Vespa, Ford of Canada, Deschini International Handbags, Miller Genuine Draft, the Pantages Suites and Cosmopolitan Hotel & Spa, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Fashion Design Council of Canada. Hewson is involved with numerous charitable organizations and activities, including The Face of Fashion, Charity Step, and Fashion Cares, and also gives volunteer seminars to fashion students on the business challenges faced by young designers. Celebrities who have worn Bustle’s designs include Nicole Richie, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Stacy McKenzie, Jake Gold, J.D. Fortune, and Jesse Metcalfe.

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9 thoughts on “Project Runway Canada judges, mentor announced”

  1. wow, that is exciting to see iman as host and brian bailey as the mentor. but i question shawn hewson as judge. i feel there are more credible canadian designers than he is.i have nothing against this guy, im sure he is good in what he does, but he is fairly new in the canadian fashion scene and you need someone with a lot more experience especially technically.someone like lida baday,wayne clark,marie st. pierre, comrags and even franco mirabelli and so many others.just think, US has michael kors and canada has bustle. i don’t see bustle to be in the same calibre , not for now. i’m pretty sure that that some of the finalists has more knowledge and experience than this judge.

  2. Ain’t that the truth! Lawyer turned designer..hmmmmmmdoes he even know what a notch is…has he even made a pattern…I don’t think so!

  3. Perhaps the reason Shawn was chosen over other Canadian designers is because the more successful ones are too busy producing their work

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