NBC's 'Fashion Star' Crowns Its First Winner, Who Was It?

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 16th, 2012

via press release:


Laricks Earns the Prize of a Lifetime with $6 Million in Orders for Capsule Collections in Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue Stores

UNIVERSAL CITY—May 15, 2012-- NBC’s “Fashion Star” named Kara Laricks as America’s first “Fashion Star” winner in tonight’s season finale, earning Laricks the prize of a lifetime -- $6 million in orders for capsule collections in Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. In the final challenge, the remaining three contestants were tasked with creating separate showcases consisting of three garments for each of the retailers. The winning garments are available online and in stores tomorrow.

Laricks’ winning designs beat out two fellow finalists—Ronnie Escalante and Nzimiro Oputa. Her win comes on the heels of NBC renewing the freshman reality series for a second cycle in 2012-13.

A former fourth-grade school teacher, Laricks always told her students to be true to themselves. Finally, she took her own advice and pursued a career in fashion. She designs androgynous clothing for women, inspired by her love of menswear and an avant-garde Japanese design aesthetic. Best known for her hoodie scarves, collar-plus-tie, Laricks puts a spin on what is deemed traditional women’s fashion. @KaraLaricks

Celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos played a crucial role guiding the designers throughout the competition with the hopes that the three retailers would vie for the right to purchase and exclusively carry the work of the up-and-coming designers each week.

“Fashion Star” will return for its second season during Winter 2013 on Sundays (8-9 p.m. ET).

For contestant blogs, embeddable clips and full episodes of "Fashion Star" please visit NBC.com's official show site: http://www.nbc.com/fashion-star/about/bios/designers/.

“Fashion Star” scoured the country in search of the next big brand in fashion. Fourteen unknown designers were chosen and given the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize to launch their collections in three of America’s largest retailers: Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue. The series features host and executive producer Elle Macpherson along with celebrity mentors Simpson, Richie and Varvatos.

The "Fashion Star" format was developed by Ben Silverman of Electus (NBC’s "The Biggest Loser,” “The Office," and "The Tudors"), Rick Ringbakk of Emmy Award-winning 5x5 Media ("Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution"), and E.J. Johnston and James Deutch of EJD Productions.

  • Paul

    “Popular competition series” …. I just choked on my coffee.

  • Steven G

    It was renewed, so the finances must be working out for NBC. All that product integration with three major retailers might be raking in some money.

    The most recent finale of Project Runway All-Stars got a 0.8 18-49 rating and 2.4 million total viewers. The year before, the regular series got a 1.5 for the finale, with 3.75 million total viewers.

    In its most recent regular 10pm timeslot, Fashion Star got a 1.5 18-49 rating and 4.23 million viewers. We don’t know the finale ratings yet. Actual retail sales of the winning designs could also be a factor, since the retailers may be willing to pay NBC more if the sales are big enough.

  • Chuck_T

    My response is ‘who cares!’?

  • Steven G

    Shifting from NBC’s perspective to the designers’ perspective, I think any designer would much rather be on Fashion Star than Project Runway. The Fashion Star prize is $6 million plus your clothes in major retailers nationwide, with lots of $50,000-$100,000 prizes along the way. The Project Runway prize is $100k, a magazine feature, $50k in computers, and the “opportunity to sell” a collection online. Also, on Fashion Star, you aren’t intentionally sleep-deprived to make you more prone to outbursts and drama, nor are you made to design everything yourself in 24 hours. You’re given way more mentoring and feedback, a much bigger budget for fabric, and professional clothiers help you implement your vision.

    I imagine now that designers have seen Fashion Star, Project Runway will have difficulty recruiting participants. And some designers who have been avoiding the drama and gimmickry of Project Runway all along will see Fashion Star as a respectable showcase for their work and will finally go on TV after resisting Project Runway’s casting agents for years.

  • AnneM

    @Steven G, they don’t actually win $6 million. They get $6 million in orders. Not being in the business, I don’t know how much that translates to in prize money. And I think Project Runway, although not as good lately, has more prestige attached to it than Fashion Star.

  • PFerrando

    Fashion Star’s format is like American Idol. Can’t stand the flashing lights, music, and sound effects. Only could watch one episode. Project Runway is a much more serious competition. Can’t wait for their new season.

  • Steven G

    @AnneM $6 million in orders is $6 million, but then the expense of making the clothes has to be paid. Still, the designer is getting more than $100,000. And while Project Runway may have a better reputation than Fashion Star, actually being on Project Runway designer doesn’t really bring much prestige. None of the designers that have been on that show are big designers today, nor are they really taken seriously in the industry. They get exposure, but they’d get more exposure on network TV — even NBC (which is now #3, not #4).

    The preliminary 18-49 rating for the Fashion Star finale is 1.6, with 4.92 million total viewers.

  • Andy

    Shouldn’t be on a major network, needs to get moved to Bravo or something.

  • Steven G

    The genre is a better fit for Bravo, but Bravo might not be able to attract the same sponsors or generate as many sales.

  • Stephanie R

    Really who cares!! It’s a T.V. show no reason to get so negitive about it. If you don’t like it watch something

  • Stephanie R

    else oops

  • Christine Cutler

    I found Fashion Star to be very entertaining. I have not been big on reality TV in the past but this seemed to have a purpose, not just competing to be competing.

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