Elle Macpherson's 'Fashion TV' woos global market


Elle Macpherson / Photo: Manfred Werner-Tsui
CANNES - Supermodel-turned-entrepreneur Elle Macpherson hit the French Riviera this week to promote her new reality TV show, "Fashion Star", at the MIPTV international trade fair.

The show's distributor, Electus, late Monday announced a slew of deals with TV networks from Canada to the Middle East, Korea, Australia and Latin America, mid-way through the media market which wraps up in Cannes on Wednesday.

Hosted by Macpherson, the show, which premiered two weeks ago on US network NBC, has 14 aspiring designers produce a collection that buyers from top fashion stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's and H & M, then bid to buy.

Launched in 2004, the fashion reality TV show "Project Runway" has triggered a spate of look-alike formats in which aspiring designers compete for a chance to break into the industry.

The lucrative twist in "Fashion Star" is that viewers can order the winning clothes from each episode right afterwards online, and the next day in the stores involved.

NBC's slogan for the show - "Watch it today. Wear it tomorrow" - sums up the retail concept.

"The clothes are jeans and t-shirts and leather jackets," Macpherson, who has her own successful lingerie line, told a press conference. "We're not talking ball dresses to wear to Cannes, we're talking stuff that people wear every day."

Electus' international president John Pollak said the clothes on offer sold out after the East Coast airing in the States before the West Coast show made it on the air.

The show's final winner will scoop a multi-million dollar contract to launch a clothing line stocked by three of the largest US retailers.

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