Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab's dream of turning the Arab World into a fashion hotspot seems to be materializing.
Thirteen episodes – 12 previously recorded, plus a live finale – will be aired every week at 9 p.m. KSA on both MBC4 and MBC Masr.
Fifteen contestants from the Arab world will compete to impress a three-strong judging panel: Saab, Tunisian fashion model, actress and television presenter Afef Jnifen, plus a different guest judge every week.
Contestants include three designers from Egypt and three from Lebanon. Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and Morocco each have one contestant as well. They will be battling for a $50,000 cash-prize from Maybelline New York, a one-year contract for their own fashion house, a one-year membership to Dubai Design and Fashion Council and a cover feature on Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
Saudi creative expert Faris Al Shehri will mentor the contestants, in the position that Tim Gunn fills on the American version of the show, while Lebanese-Australian model Jessica Kahawaty will fill the role Heidi Klum performs.
MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said the Arab version of Project Runway will raise the bar for the international show through "substantial additions and a high entertainment value in every episode," noting that the grand finale will be broadcast live from the Dubai Design District – d3, "home of the top styling, creativity, fashion and content specialists in the region and the world."