'The Fashion Fund' TV Competition Heads to Ovation

The channel, in association with Condé Nast Entertainment, will roll out the fashion competition as six hourlong episodes beginning in December.
Getty Images Courtesy of Ovation
Diane von Furstenberg, left, and Anna Wintour

The fashion TV space is about to grow more crowded.

Come December, arts network Ovation will launch The Fashion Fund, a six-part series that takes viewers behind the scenes as 10 emerging fashion designers vie to be crowned the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner. In addition to cache, the prestigious title comes with a $300,000 grant and a one-year mentorship with an industry titan. The show, a partnership with Condé Nast Entertainment, will offer an unprecedented glimpse at the process, which includes studio visits, a Vogue fashion shoot and a presentation at NYC Fashion Week.

“This is the real deal. There have been a lot of fashion competition series on television, but nothing comes close to matching the authenticity and talent found in The Fashion Fund,” said Ovation chief creative officer Robert Weiss, referring to a category still dominated by long-running Lifetime series Project Runway.

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The design contest, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has helped transform past winners, including Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, into brand names. The selection committee consists of such industry heavyweights as Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing and J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons.

The Fashion Fund will captivate audiences, documenting the rise of the next generation of designers as they gain immeasurable insight from the industry’s foremost talent,” added Condé Nast Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff, who spent years courting the largely female audience for which this series will target during her previous tenure at The CW.

Ostroff joined Condé Nast nearly two years ago, spearheading a division designed to expand the traditional role of a magazine publisher by supplementing declining print revenue with film, TV and digital projects. Fashion Fund, along with a reported series entitled Vanity Fair Confidential for Investigation Discovery, mark the group's first foray into TV. According to The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Entertainment is currently in talks with Amazon about a series based on New Yorker content.

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The hourlong design series will be produced by Break Thru Films (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work) in association with Council of Fashion Designers of America, Vogue and Condé Nast Entertainment. It will join repeats of Antiques Roadshow and NBC's Smash on Ovation's schedule, currently available in 48 million homes.

The news comes the same week that NBC confirmed the cancellation of its fashion competition series, Fashion Star.