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Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn on How Making the Cut Addresses Ageism in Fashion

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The third season of Making the Cut on Amazon’s Prime Video launches Friday, Aug. 19 with a bang. From the very first episode, a record-scratch moment between Heidi Klum and contestant Ciara Chyanne Morgan reminds viewers that ageism is alive and well in the fashion industry — and that this reality competition show won’t hesitate to lean into the drama. This time around, hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are pushing for progress and not leaning away from controversial moments, and we loved speaking with Klum and Gunn about how they handled this upcoming season.

Here’s the encounter we couldn’t stop thinking about: After the evening-wear fashion show in episode 1, Klum asked contestant Morgan to describe her customer. The young designer confidently responded that “for the Ciara Cheyanne woman, the evening is a little more effortless and chic. She is the woman who is from aged 24 to 42…”

She didn’t get any further than that because the 49-year-old Klum joked, “I can’t wear it anymore?”

Morgan followed it up with a laugh and a response, “I feel like you want to focus on your niche.”

The supermodel looked on with dismay but continued plowing forward with constructive criticism about her designs. However, SheKnows couldn’t let this seemingly innocuous reality show clip pass us by without asking Klum and Gunn if they thought the fashion industry was doing a good job of honoring women in all seasons of life.

“That’s why I was saying that to her because I’m turning 50,” Klum explained. “That means I can’t buy this piece anymore? That’s not cool. I was obviously joking with her, and I wanted her to understand what she just said. You shouldn’t put a time limit on anything, and I feel like we should be able to wear anything at any age.”

Gunn concurred, adding that “it’s a mistake to bring a very fine definition to that, [fashion] should be much more open” to people of all ages.

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After a pandemic (which looms in the background in these episodes), the idea of fashion has also changed for everyone working differently than pre-March 2020. Some are back in the office; some are strictly working from home while others are taking the hybrid approach — it’s hard to know how far we can take athleisure into the workplace. So, where is everyone finding wardrobe inspiration these days?

Gunn recommends finding a “fashion icon,” describing the role as “someone who is your size, shape, coloring and ideally age, whose style you admire, and use that individual as a gauge.” That’s some sound advice from the style guru, who also revealed his fashion role model is none other than George Clooney and chuckled, “I’ll be honest, he’s a lot younger than I am.”

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Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn James Clark/Amazon Studios.

If Gunn has Clooney, then who does a supermodel like Klum look up to when she has every designer in the industry clamoring for her to wear their creations? The answer isn’t that simple. After all, she describes her closet as “insanely crazy” because she has “too many personalities” inside of her.

“I have so many different moods all the time,” Klum emphasized. “Sometimes I want to be sassy, then I want to be super sexy, then I want to be Business Barbie, then I love to be bohemian… so it’s all very eclectic.” If that wasn’t the answer you were hoping for, Gunn, who is always impeccable with his timing, quipped, “I think you’re your own icon.” Bullseye!

Klum also hopes to be a fashion inspiration to her followers because she believes she’s still presenting designers’ collections even when she’s not on the runway.

“Because I am in fashion, I want to show people what is out there,” she explained. “So I like to show different things on me, so I still like to model them for everyone in a way.”

It’s like having our own supermodel each fashion season — and we can definitely get behind that. Gunn and Klum don’t want anyone to stress out over fashion, though, they want people to have fun with it and “step outside their comfort zone” every once in a while.

Klum quipped, “We got Tim Gunn into a pair of jeans, so…”

“Anything can happen,” Gunn laughed.

Season 3 of Making the Cut premieres on Amazon Prime Video on August 19.

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