'Project Runway All Stars': Former Mentor Joanna Coles Reveals Her Advice to Zanna Roberts Rassi

The editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan also warns returning contestants about what to expect from the Marie Claire senior fashion editor.
Getty Images

Returning champions and contenders aren’t the only familiar faces to look forward to in the third season of Project Runway All Stars. Lifetime recently announced that Marie Claire senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi will make the jump from occasional Project Runway guest judge and preview special host to All Stars workroom mentor. She will fill the heels of Joanna Coles, who warns upcoming contestants of what to expect from her former editorialist.

STORY: 'Project Runway All Stars' Season Three Designers, New Mentor Revealed

“The key for them is to listen to Zanna – she’s very knowledgeable, she’s been in fashion a long time, and she really cares,” Coles tells The Hollywood Reporter. “She really thinks about it, and she’s much more fashion-forward than I am in her own look. I’m dying to watch the show I can’t wait.”

For two seasons, Coles stood in as the Tim Gunn of All Stars while helming the masthead of Marie Claire, a longtime partner of the fashion design competition series  (the winner receives a fashion spread in the magazine and a yearlong position as contributing editor). She made the jump to Cosmopolitan last year, and though the two are now at competing Hearst Corporation titles, the top-level editors still remain close.

“I see Zanna quite a lot because we’re very good friends,” Coles continues. “Zanna is much nicer than I am, so I don’t think she needs any advice from me, because she’s already sort of sweet and mentorly as it is. My only advice to her was have an enormous amount of fun, and bug Isaac [Mizrahi] as much as she can.”

STORY: 'Project Runway All Stars': Alyssa Milano to Host Third Season

Coles says she looks back on the fun experience fondly, and received encouragement and advice from Gunn and Runway judge Nina Garcia, also at Marie Claire. The role of All Stars mentor also helped her transition into her new digs at Cosmopolitan and to learn about “humility, and to never assume that you know more than you do. And be nice to the people around you, because you never know when they’re going to end up employing you.”

In addition to Rassi, All Stars also adds Alyssa Milano as host and judge alongside returnees Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman. Guest judges include Abigail Breslin, Kristin Chenoweth, Gabourey Sidibe, Elisabeth Moss, Nick Cannon, Debbie Harry, Bar Refaeli, Gayle King, Lisa Robertson, Nate Berkus and Michael Urie, along with Runway judges Garcia and Zac Posen, past Runway winners Christian Siriano and Anya Ayoung-Chee and All Stars champions Mondo Guerra (who recaps the series for The Hollywood Reporter) and Anthony Ryan Auld.

The third season of All Stars premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24.