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Nicole Richie Joins NBC's 'Fashion Star'

July 7th, 2011 9:41am EDT

Nicole RichieReality TV star Nicole Richie and American menswear designer John Varvatos will serve as celebrity mentors on NBC's "Fashion Star," the new reality competition series that will search for the next big brand in fashion. They join previously announced celebrity mentor Jessica Simpson and host Elle Macpherson.

The series is designed not only to groom and discover America's next popular brand, but will allow viewers at home to buy the winning designs each week. The show will target real-time consumer feedback and interactivity and will span all categories of fashion from suits and dresses to lingerie, denim, bathing suits, accessories and more.

Richie soared to fame in the hit series "The Simple Life" and has since appeared in numerous television series such as NBC's "Chuck" and "American Dreams." Richie conceived, launched and acts as creative director for her fast growing, internationally recognized fashion brands.

Detroit native, Varvatos got his start designing collections at Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. He launched his own company that represents an entire men's lifestyle brand in 2000. The designer has been recognized three times by the CFDA with an American Fashion Award for New Menswear Designer (June 2000) and Menswear Designer of the Year (June 2001 and June 2005) and was honored as GQ's "Designer of the Year" in 2007.

"Fashion Star" will give 14 unknown designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize to launch their lines in three of America's largest retailers.

Each week, the show will kick off with an exhilarating fashion show unlike anything seen before featuring musical performances, dancers, and models in front of a live studio audience. Every fashion show will be built around a weekly challenge that is designed to further develop and expand the designer's brand.

Buyers from each of the three retailers will serve as the judges, making on-the-spot decisions as they bid against each other, dipping into their own wallets to purchase the work of these up-and-coming designers each week.

These items will shape the future of their respective stores and create the next big trends for consumers. At the end of each episode, America will have the chance to immediately purchase the winning designs showcased on the episode that week.

What viewers see on TV that night will be on the streets and in stores the very next day. With just a single trip down the runway, "Fashion Star" will change the lives and fortunes of these aspiring designers forever.

Fashion designers featured on the show will include everyone from the stay-at-home mom who makes her own clothes to sell at the local flea market, to the recent design school graduate who just landed his or her first job at a design house. The contestants will be coming to the competition with their own existing lines and challenged to take their brand to the next level.

Nicole Richie

Photo Credits: PR Photos