fashion star NBC

Can you find the two Seattleites in this cast photo?

Brace yourselves: More reality TV. NBC’s Fashion Star is focused on mainstream American fashion consumers and weekly design winners. Each episode, buyers from H&M, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue select items for their stores, and viewers can buy the goods immediately after the show airs. But here’s the important part: Fashion Star stars two Seattleites.

We talked to Lisa Vian Hunter and Lizzie Parker in advance of the show’s debut this Tuesday, March 13.

WWW: What were your goals going into Fashion Star? Did it seem different than Project Runway and other shows, and did that play into your decision to go ahead with it?
Parker: Funny you should say that, as I actually turned down another fashion reality show that I cannot mention. I realized that I wanted it to be all about my business and brand. When I had the opportunity to do a show on NBC all about the business of fashion, and the opportunity to sell in to major retailers and have my brand seen by millions, it seemed like no brainer.
Hunter: My goal was to expand my brand beyond Seattle. Whether it’s adding a shopping cart to the website, or (hopefully) selling to a department store buyer on the show. Fashion Star felt completely different than any other fashion show on TV; I jumped at the opportunity because the show is all about the business of fashion. I love the business of fashion. What I don’t love is sewing all night long.

What’s been the reaction of your local customers and community? I imagine it’s supportive, but maybe there are some who don’t want to lose you to the big department stores.
Parker: Most of my customers see the victory as getting on the show—as do I. Bottom line, my customer is happy that I am there and will support me, and that is the definition of a cult following, which is more than most designers can hope for.
Hunter: I have had an amazing amount of support and encouragement from the local community. My customers appreciate how much work goes into owning a small business and are so excited for the show and the opportunity for me. Madison Valley is a tight-knit retail community and everyone is very supportive.

There are at least two elements to getting on a show like this: talent and character. With a mind for this show in particular, use three words to describe your design style, and three words to describe your personality.
Parker: Design Style = Modern, Asymmetrical, Wearable. Personality = Capable, Honest, Smart.
Hunter: Design style = Vintage, Feminine, Edgy. Personality = Outspoken, Determined, Happy.

We know you can’t tell us how things played out for you on the show, but if you had the chance to do it all over again, would you?
Parker: Yup, and I would not change a thing. If you are going to do something like this, you cannot have regrets or hindsight. You have to be yourself and play the hand. And by the way, how lucky am I for this opportunity to have a national platform for my brand? I am happy to have it.
Hunter: Absolutely.

Where will you be on the night of the premier?
Parker: In NYC hanging with the mentors and the cast, in particular my favorite contestants Lisa (my Seattle sista) and Nick (my friend, manufacturer and bestie from the show).
Hunter: The designers were invited to attend a premiere party in NYC hosted by NBC and Macy’s so I will be there. My husband is hosting a viewing party in Seattle with my son.

Lizzie Parker’s Fashion Show video
Lisa Vian Hunter’s Fashion Show video