‘next in fashion’: the emerging design show worth having on your radar


illustration by ceci foley

Amidst the pandemic in 2020, Netflix premiered its own fashion-based reality TV show, “Next in Fashion.” This highly entertaining show features 18 up-and-coming designers competing for a shot at $250,000 and the chance to become the next big designer in fashion. Co-hosted by British-American designer and “Queer Eye” fashion liaison Tan France alongside model, designer and television star Alexa Chung, and featuring celebrity guest judges from Elizabeth Stewart to Tommy Hilfiger, the fun and fresh show attracted viewers with its creativity and lively spirit. 


Season two is set to premiere on March 3, featuring model and designer Gigi Hadid as guest host and judge. She announced her role on Instagram, saying “Season 2 of Next in Fashion drops on @netflix March 3rd with some MAJOR guest judges, looks, and laughs!” 

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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

This is where season two differs from season one; the celebrity host is a model, a side of the fashion industry that stands opposite of designers. Yes, Alexa Chung also modeled, but she has become more well known as a TV personality and for her eponymous fashion label, ALEXACHUNG.


Hadid taking on a host brings up the question: Is a model fit to judge a design-based competition show? To answer this question, I talked to current Kent State fashion design students, Morgan McDermott and Mollie Helstrom, to try to get an understanding of how this show and its new celebrity appearance resonates with future designers. 


On a very basic level, watching seemingly “normal” people, such as last season’s winner Minju Kim, design at such a high level can be inspiring to aspiring designers. Fashion students often look towards the media to see what current designers are doing and what they can do next. 


“It’s very inspiring to see other people do what you want to do and to see them make it,” Helstrom said.


This is exactly what “Next in Fashion” exemplifies to young designers. But, in the case of this show, is the method of design misleading? The designers have an unlimited amount of resources that every designer would absolutely dream of. However, the designers only have a limited amount of time to create their collections before they are shown off on the runway. 


McDermott, a freshman fashion design major, argues that the show “could be giving people that aren’t knowledgeable about fashion the wrong idea, thinking that it’s an easy task and can be done in 48 hours to make a whole collection. In reality, it’s a long process from start to finish.”


In regards to Hadid, bringing in Hadid to replace Chung in season two was a bold move, but will it pay off? It could be considered controversial to have a model, not a designer, judging designs. On this topic, Helstrom and McDermott had different opinions. 


“All aspects of fashion, culture and media are all connected, so you can be a model and still be very influential in the fashion world,” McDermott said. “[Hadid] has some kind of influence and power, so I think it’s good she’s judging.” 


“It’d be more useful to have another designer be judging because they understand the technicalities,” Helstrom said. “Gigi Hadid just knows how to wear it and look good in it.”


While the verdict from future designers may be split, it is worth mentioning that Hadid has started her brand Guest In Residence a few months back. She spent over a year creating the luxury knitwear label where pieces are crafted to be long-lasting. On top of that, Hadid also has prior experience collaborating on several capsule collections. While she may not be a “traditional designer,” she does have insight into the design world—an experience she may call upon during her time on “Next in Fashion.”


Season two of “Next in Fashion” is set to have just as much creative chaos as season one, and a new talented designer will be introduced to the fashion world on March 3. 

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.