Michael Kors isn't returning as a Project Runway judge for the design competition's 11th cycle, which will feature a twist wherein the designers compete in teams.
Kors, who had been with the show from the beginning, will be replaced by "featured judge" Zac Posen on the upcoming season, but Kors will return as the guest judge for the finale. Posen, who has served as a guest judge before, will join returning judges Heidi Klum, who also hosts the Lifetime show, and Marie Claire fashion director Nina Garcia.
Lifetime said Kors was unable to return as a regular judge for season 11 due to scheduling issues. Because seasons 10 and 11 were shot back-to-back, the designer was not able to commit to all the dates required for shooting season 11.
"Always part of the Project Runway family, Michael will be seen in the future on the show, and we are excited to confirm that Michael will be back as a judge for season 11 finale," Lifetime said.
Meanwhile, the inaugural teams edition is set to premiere at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, with 16 designers competing in teams for every challenge.
Tim Gunn is returning as mentor, while guest judges will include Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Joan and Melissa Rivers, Emmy Rossum, Kristin Davis, Jordana Brewster and designers Rachel Roy, Tracy Reese, Chris Benz and 2007 Project Runway winner Christian Siriano.
Lifetime also will air a Road to the Runway special at 8 p.m., before the season 11 premiere, as an introduction to the new designers. The special will be hosted by Marie Claire’s Zanna Roberts Rassi, the special will also feature commentary from Project Runway: All Stars winner Mondo Guerra, who recaps the show for The Hollywood Reporter, and designer alum Laura Kathleen, who is competing on the current season of All Stars.
The season 11 winner will receive $100,000 from L’Oreal Paris to start his/her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a 2013 Lexus GS 350, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel to create his/her own vision and run his/her business and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection at Lord & Taylor.
The model paired with the winner of Project Runway also will appear in the designer's Marie Claire editorial feature and receive $25,000 from L'Oreal Paris EverStyle.
Project Runway is produced by The Weinstein Co., Miramax Films, Bunim-Murray Productions and Full Picture Entertainment.