The eleventh season of Project Runway starts January 24th at 9 PM. Lifetime will shake things up this season by making it the first teams edition, where all the challenges will see the designers competing in teams.
Also, for the first time, Michael Kors will not be on the judges panel. Instead, while his schedule has him otherwise engaged, Kors will be replaced by Zac Posen. Guest judges for the season will include Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, and Joan and Melissa Rivers.
The Season 11 winner will receive $100,000 from L'Oreal Paris to start their own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a 2013 Lexus GS 350, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection at Lord & Taylor.
Meet the designers of Project Runway Season Eleven:
1. Amanda Valentine
Amanda Valentine a 31-year-old designer from Nashville, Tennessee currently works as a wardrobe stylist and costume designer. She is the youngest of five children and has 13 nieces and nephews.
Valentine earned a bachelor's degree in Clothing and Textile Design from the University of Nebraska. She was featured as "Best Fashion Designer" in Nashville Scene and says she loves combining disparate ideas like "French Medieval Fly Girl."
2. Benjamin Mach
Benjamin Mach is a 35-year-old designer from, Sydney, Australia.
Benjamin makes a living as a set, costume, and graphic designer, and hopes to establish his own line, "NARCISSUS by Benjamin Mach." He has a degree in fashion design from Sydney Institute of Technology, where he won the Grand Marnier Evening Wear Award.
3. Cindy Marlatt
Cindy Marlatt is a 59-year-old designer from Kent, Washington who graduated in 2012 from The Art Institute of Seattle, with a bachelor's degree in fashion design.
Marlatt has won several design awards including the 2011 Seattle Magazine's "Best Student Designer," "Best Spring Outfit" at a 2010 Art Institute Fashion Show and first place in the 2009 Cruel vs. Cool Seattle competition sponsored by the Humane Society.
4. Daniel Esquivel
Daniel Esquivel is a self-taught 48-year-old designer from Austin, Texas who makes a living as a freelance designer.
5. Emily Pollard
Emily Pollard is a 24-year-old designer from Falls Church, Virginia. She makes a living as a graphic designer. She has a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Pollard says she had some work featured in an honors show and, in 2012 she won the the People's Choice Award for Charleston Fashion Week's Emerging Designer Competition.
6. James Martinez
James Martinez is a 29-year-old designer from Dallas, Texas currently selling his own designs. He attended The Art Institute and majored in fashion design and came in the Top Ten in the Texas' Next Top Designer competition.
7. Joseph Aaron Segal
Joseph Aaron Segal is a 30-year-old designer from Providence, Rhode Island who works full-time selling his World of JAS and Pretty Snake collections. He also teaches part-time in the textiles department at Rhode Island School of Design.
Segal received his bachelor's degree in painting and art history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a master's in textile design from Rhode Island School of Design.
8. Kate Pankoke
Kate Pankoke is a 23-year-old designer from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Florida State University's Apparel Design and Technology program. When she was invited to interview for Project Runway all she had to show were recent bridal designs (which producers wouldn't accept). Instead, Pankoke whipped together a chiffon gown she calls "Vie," which she had previously designed but never planned to actually construct.
9. Layana Aguilar
Layana Aguilar is a 28-year-old designer from New York, New York. Layana attended Katharine Gibbs College in Connecticut before transferring to New York Fashion Institute of Technology where she graduated in 2010 and won the Hilton Hollis Award.
10. Matthew Arthur
Matthew Arthur is a 30-year-old self-made designer from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he currently manages a salon. He says, "Someone handed me a sewing machine and told me that they thought I would be good at making clothes. I started taking things apart and researching techniques."