20 designers must go in front of Heidi, Michael, Nina and Tim to make a case why they deserve one of the 16 coveted spots this season. Once they are chosen, the 16 designers barely have a chance to celebrate before being awoken at the crack of dawn with one of the toughest first challenges in the series' history. Their PJ's and bedsheets are their fabric for the first challenge!
This year's unconventional challenge lives up to its name when the designers arrive at a pet store. When Tim informs them that they will find all the materials they need inside, they quickly realize this is their opportunity to show the judges how they can think outside the box. Stacey Bendet (Alice + Olivia) serves as the guest judge.
The designers are broken into teams of two to create a design that's larger than life--their models are stilt walkers! In the first ever outdoor challenge, the runway show is held outside in New York for all to see. Kim Kardashian serves as guest judge.
The designers quickly realize they are in for a tough challenge when it is revealed the Nina Garcia is their client! The stakes are raised as Nina tells them she will wear the winning look to an important industry event. Marie Claire's editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles and actress Kerry Washington serve as guest judges.
When Heidi introduces nine men on the runway, the designers are stunned. But they quickly breathe a sigh of relief when Tim reveals that the men are not their models--they will be designing for their significant others! Actress Malin Akerman serves as guest judge.
The designers are treated to a special performance from their new client, an up-and-coming band. Broken into two teams of four, the designers are charged with creating a look that will establish their as image-makers.
Exotic Birds serve as the inspiration for this week's L'Oreal Challenge. The designer's must really step up their game when Tim reveals that during judging they will go head-to-head with one other designer putting one in the top and one in the bottom during judging. Francisco Costa serves as guest judge for the challenge.
Things get off to a bumpy start for the final designers as they frantically get ready to show at fashion week. With fair warning to step up their game, the designers make every minute of preparation count. Guest judge, fashion designer L'Wren Scott, weighs in on who should be the winner during the intense debate at the final judging.