via press release:


Joining Host Elle Macpherson and Celebrity Mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos Are Caprice Willard (Macy’s), Nicole Christie (H&M) and Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) Who Will Represent Each Retailer as Buyers


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UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – July 25, 2011 – NBC announced today that three of the world’s largest retailers, Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue, have signed on to play an integral role on “Fashion Star,” the new mid-season reality competition series hosted by Elle Macpherson with celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos.

In addition, NBC revealed that Caprice Willard (Macy’s), Nicole Christie (H&M) and Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) will be the featured buyers in the series that will be purchasing fashions each week and spotlight them in their respective stores. The fashions will be available for purchase immediately after each episode.

The announcements were made today by Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

“The involvement of retail heavyweights Macy’s, H&M and Saks throughout the entirety of the series will showcase to audiences and consumers alike how the grand spectacle of runway fashion shows translates to designs for today’s consumer,” said Telegdy. “The expertise and knowledge the buyers bring to the series will only further enhance the contestants’ experiences on cultivating their lines into the next big brand.”

“Partnering with the world’s best retailers including Macy’s, H&M and Saks will offer audiences an intimate, real-world look into how the fashion industry works and what makes buyers tick,” said Ben Silverman, executive producer of “Fashion Star” and CEO and founder of Electus.

Multi-media studio Electus, an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), Emmy Award-winning 5X5 Media and The Magical Elves (Emmy Award winners for “Top Chef” and the original producers of “Project Runway”) are the producers of “Fashion Star.” The series is designed not only to groom and discover America’s next popular brand, but through an exciting new format twist, it will allow viewers at home to buy the winning designs each week. The show will target real-time consumer feedback and interactivity and will span all categories of fashion from suits and dresses to lingerie, denim, bathing suits, and more.

Willard who will serve as the buyer for Macy’s and is currently the Vice President/Regional Planning Manager for Women’s Apparel for Macy’s Southwest Region. Willard was recruited from UCLA (Bachelor of Arts degree in English), into the Executive Trainee Program. She worked her way up through various positions both in the buying offices and stores until she ultimately became a Buyer for Dresses and then a Senior Buyer for Cosmetics. Leveraging her vast experience in many different businesses, Willard was promoted to Divisional Merchandise Manager of Intimate Apparel/Hosiery/Slippers in 2004 and in 2006, Willard moved to San Francisco and was promoted to the position of Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager of Cosmetics for the Macy’s West division. Willard held this position for three years, until most recently she was able to relocate back to her hometown of Los Angeles and assume her current position of Vice President/RPM for Women’s Apparel.

Christie, the buyer for H&M, is a former graduate of Columbia University and was one of the first 50 employees hired to start the U.S. sales organization for H&M. She began her 11-year career at the company as a manager for the first U.S. store which opened on Fifth Avenue in 2000. In 2001, Christie was then promoted to buyer for the Young Fashion Division where she worked with H&M’s in-house design team in Sweden to shape the collection for the U.S. and Canada. In 2009, Christie was tapped to become the Communications Manager for North America, where she manages the development and implementation of communication strategy, while also acting as the H&M company spokesperson for the U.S.

Schaefer, the buyer for Saks is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of the prestigious retailer. Schaefer has broad international marketing and fashion expertise that includes award-winning branding, product positioning and advertising campaigns for world-class organizations such as Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Harrods, Macy’s and Doyle Dane Bernbach. Prior to joining Saks Fifth Avenue Schaefer held the position of Senior Vice President, Marketing for Warner Bros. Worldwide, where he led all marketing functions and spearheaded the creation of their worldwide retail corporate identity program.

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers. For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at

Established in 1947, H&M, Hennes & Maurtiz, L.P. has grown into a truly global fashion brand with more than 2,200 stores in 40 countries on four continents. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. H&M offers an exciting shopping opportunity for style conscious shoppers with a broad and varied selection for women, men, teens and children. One way the brand shows that design is not about price is through exciting collaborations with style icons, such as with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy Choo and Versace. The H&M share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. For further information and store locations, visit

Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s preeminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. Today, Saks operates 46 full-line stores in 22 states, 5 licensed stores in the Middle East and 2 licensed stores in Mexico City, 57 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and, the company’s online store. For further information please visit

“Fashion Star” will give 14 unknown designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize to launch their lines in three of America’s largest retailers. Each week, the show will kick off with an exhilarating fashion show unlike anything seen before featuring musical performances, dancers, and models in front of a live studio audience. Every fashion show will be built around a weekly challenge that is designed to further develop and expand the designer’s brand.

Willard, Schaefer and Christie from Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue respectively, will serve as the buyers, making on-the-spot decisions as they vie for the right to purchase and exclusively carry the work of these up-and-coming designers each week. These items will shape the future of their respective stores and create the next big trends for consumers. At the end of each episode, America will have the chance to immediately purchase the winning designs showcased on the episode that week. What viewers see on TV that night will be on the streets and in stores the very next day. With just a single trip down the runway, “Fashion Star” will change the lives and fortunes of these aspiring designers forever. The show is hosted and executive-produced by Macpherson, one of the world’s most famous fashion icons.

Fashion designers featured on the show will include everyone from the stay-at-home mom who makes her own clothes to sell at the local flea market, to the recent design school graduate who just landed his or her first job at a design house. The contestants will be coming to the competition with their own existing lines and challenged to take their brand to the next level. All the contestants will be put to the test to see how they react in a variety of real-world scenarios to determine who has the vision and desire to build a fashion empire and achieve their dream. With top experts as their guides and mentors throughout the process, designers will have to be as adept in the business of fashion as they are in their creativity as it’s up to them to make their brand a national reality.

In the end, one designer will successfully combine fashion and business to become the next “Fashion Star” and will receive the prize of a lifetime – an exclusive capsule line in all three stores Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Fashion Star” is created by E.J. Johnston and James Deutch of the Global Fashion Association, Rick Ringbakk of Emmy Award-winning 5×5 Media (“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”) and Ben Silverman (NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and “The Office,” and “The Tudors”).

The show is executive-produced by Silverman of Electus, Jane Lipsitz & Dan Cutforth of The Magical Elves, Ringbakk of 5×5 Media (a full-service production company in an overall production and distribution agreement within the Electus studio system), Macpherson, and Johnston & Deutch of Global Fashion Association. Electus/Engine Distribution will retain all international distribution rights.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit’s official show site:

For artwork and a complete press kit from the show please visit the NBCUniversal Media Village website at

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About NBC Entertainment:

NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network’s primetime, late-night, and daytime schedules. NBC’s quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, numerous awards, and ratings success. The network has earned more Emmy Awards than any network in television history.

NBC’s roster of popular scripted series includes such critically acclaimed comedies Emmy winners as “The Office” and “30 Rock,” starring Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. Veteran, award-winning dramas on NBC include the “Law & Order” brand, and “Chuck.” Unscripted series for NBC include the hits “The Voice,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and “America’s Got Talent.”

NBC’s late-night story is highlighted by “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Saturday Night Live.” NBC Daytime’s “Days of our Lives” consistently finishes among daytime’s top programs in the valuable women 18-34 category.

On Saturday mornings, the network broadcasts Qubo on NBC, a three-hour block that features fun, entertaining, and educational programming for kids, including the award-winning, 3-D animated series Veggie Tales.

For more information visit

About Electus:

Electus is the first integrated multimedia entertainment studio to unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. Headed by Ben Silverman, in partnership with IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], the company connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling marketers and advertisers to be a true partner in campaigns and content creation. For more information on Electus, visit

About Magical Elves:

Magical Elves is the award-winning production team behind some of the highest quality reality programming on television including “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.” The Elves, comprised of Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz have won one primetime Emmy and have been nominated an additional 11 times. They are the first recipients of a Peabody Award presented to a reality television program (“Project Runway”). Most recently, Magical Elves transitioned to feature films by producing “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” currently the third highest-grossing documentary of all time. Other notable television credits include “America’s Next Great Restaurant,” “Work of Art,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Top Chef Just Desserts,” “The Real L Word,” “Project Greenlight,” “Last Comic Standing” and “Bands on the Run.”

About 5×5 Media:

Five by Five Media (“5×5”) is a full service television and film production company in an overall production and distribution agreement within the Electus studio system. 5×5 Media develops and produces both scripted and unscripted television programming and feature films. Our principals have won multiple primetime Emmy Awards, and have produced such titles as “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” “Super Nanny,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Smash Lab,” “Monster Garage,” “Mythbusters” and “Wired Science.”

About Global Fashion Association:

Since launching in 2007, the Global Fashion Association (GFA) has built an international reputation as one of the most capable and connected networks for all things fashion. From high-profile runway shows around the world to development and production of fashion television programming and international designer exchange programs, GFA provides opportunities for fashion talent to reach a global audience. GFA’s principals have created and produced television programming for networks including E!, Bravo, CNBC & MTV.

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