Heidi Klum Addresses Tension With Naomi Campbell on the Set of “Making the Cut”

by Charles Manning

WARNING: Making the Cut spoilers ahead! Amazon Prime Video’s hit reality fashion competition show, Making the Cut, crowned its first winner on Friday night, but before the show’s final episodes dropped, The Daily got on the phone with hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn to find out who they wished could have made it to the final three and what it was really like on set after the cameras turned off. 

Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum (Courtesy)

I haven’t watched the last episode yet, so you’re going to have to tell me who the winner is.
Heidi Klum: Who do you think it is?

I think it’s Jonny.
Tim Gunn: Why do you think it’s Johnny?

I actually thought it was Jonny from the beginning because when the show started, his brand, Skingraft, had the best website of all the contestants. Esther’s was good too, but Sander’s barely even existed. Also, Esther stuck to her all-black color palette, while Johnny seems to have been more adaptable.
Tim Gunn: Well, you’re right! You could’ve been a judge. You would’ve been excellent.

Heidi Klum: Yeah, I think that was a bit of the problem for Esther. As much as we loved her, I think what Amazon Fashion and the judges wanted was some color. She was living too much in her black universe, which we all loved, but I think people do want more variety.

Esther Perbandt (Courtesy)

I think that Jonny understood that a little bit more. Also, he had more of a clear brand identity, which I think will make him very successful. He also has Amazon behind him for the next year and a million dollars to put into his business. You can really make a business with that. Also, after the final episode airs, he will have a 20-style collection available on Amazon Fashion, which is absolutely amazing, with everything ranging from $40 to under $400. But so does Esther! Ester has a great line that will be at Shopbop after the last episode airs, so you’ll still be able to buy her designs.

Is there anyone on the show that you wish you could’ve given a second chance to?
Heidi Klum: Unfortunately, this is a competition and we need to lose people along the way. For example, in the very beginning, I was really into Ji because I would personally want to buy all her pieces, but then she wasn’t strong on certain challenges and got eliminated. They all are great designers, otherwise we would’ve not put them on the show, and everyone deserves a second chance, but in the life that doesn’t always happen and we really did try our best to eliminate the weakest link every week.

Ji Won Choi and Tim Gunn (Courtesy)

What’s your favorite winning look from the season?
Heidi Klum: I do love Jonny’s boiler suit — I thought it was amazing — but I also loved his striped dress. 

Tim Gunn: I’d have to say Esther’s ready-to-wear look from the couture assignment.

Is there any part of the show that you wish you could do over?
Tim Gunn: Yes, I’d like to fence Heidi again.

Heidi Klum: I don’t think Tim liked that I won.

Tim Gunn: No, you won fair and square.

Heidi Klum: I’m a quick study!

Heidi, you and Naomi butt heads often during the judging. Did that tension ever spill over to off-camera?
Heidi Klum: Yeah, but that’s why all these individuals were there, because they all have strong points of view and that’s what you want to have at the end. You don’t want to have a judge sitting there and being like, “Oh, that’s nice” and then the cameras cut and they’re like, “I hated that.” We want people to be honest with their opinions. That’s what makes it fun — for you and for us. Naomi and I fought for who we loved. If all the decisions had been unanimous it would have been boring.

Naomi Campbell (Courtesy)

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the show that you wish it had?
Tim Gunn: Yes

Heidi Klum: No, I feel like everything made it in.

Tim Gunn: During the judging, I’m sitting with the designers and my favorite moments were exchanging eye contact with Heidi. We would just share these lethal looks.

Heidi Klum: During judging?

Tim Gunn: Yes, it was fun!

Heidi Klum: Yeah, we had a few eye rolls.

Tim Gunn: There was usually a moment during every judging when that happened and it would have to do with another judge speaking and the comments that were being made and we would roll our eyes. It was cathartic.

Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Chiara Ferragni, Joseph Altuzarra, and Heidi Klum (Courtesy)

Heidi Klum: But, you know, we can’t tell you everything, we also need to have some secrets, Tim and I. 

Jonny said he knew from day one that it was going to come down to him, Sander, and Esther; did you have the same feeling?
Heidi Klum: I always had an eye on Jonny. And Esther. Also, I had an eye on Ji. I really thought she was going to be up there too.

Tim Gunn: As a bystander, so to speak, because I’m not a judge, I’m very aware on how this could go in any direction. I will say that I was surprised and extremely happy that Sander went as far as he did. He was extraordinary. But by episode seven or eight, I anticipated that it would come down to Esther and Jonny. It was sort of like having Christian Lacroix vs. Yves Saint Laurent; it could go either way.

Heidi Klum: I love Sander, too. He thinks really differently. He thinks like an artist, like a different kind of artist. He definitely creates such newness that we went “ooh” and “aah” for, even if the mainstream world wasn’t necessarily ready for it. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Sander. He sent so many beautiful pieces down the runway and that’s what fashion is all about. 

Jonny Cota, Esther Perbandt, Sander Bos, Making the Cut (Courtesy)

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Brenda April 28, 2020 - 11:12 PM

So very disappointed. Project runway is so much better.

Eli April 29, 2020 - 1:31 AM

The show is awful, shouldn’t be on next season. Garbage

DJ April 29, 2020 - 6:02 AM

I don’t understand how they thought Esther was so good. Terrible fashion and that hat and hair just bugged me; it looked like it all needed to be washed. She seems like a very nice person, but just black really isn’t a “brand.”

JL April 29, 2020 - 12:57 PM

I like the show. I haven’t seen much of Project Runway, but I acknowledge that each has its differences and advantages. Making the Cut has great production value. Sometimes bigger is better, with the traveling, the elaborate workshops, the runway shows open to the public.

Diane Zurlin April 29, 2020 - 1:17 PM

I thought the new Project Runway was going to be bad and Making the Cut was going to be good, but it turned out to be the opposite. I always liked Heidi and Tim but their banter seemed embarrassing on this show. The scenes of France and Japan were more interesting than the show itself. I love the idea of the designers making their own fashions on Project Runway. I look forward watching the next season of Project Runway, but I won’t watch Making the Cut.

Lola April 29, 2020 - 2:28 PM

I was a fan of Project Runway so of course I needed to watch Making The Cut. I love Tim and Heidi as a team. I didn’t mind the filler of Tim & Heidi playing around in Tokyo or Paris but I wish there was more Tim and more of a watchful eye on the contestants. How much were they spending on materials?? At the end I would have liked to know the number of items the three finalist actually sold on their popup stores. Also, I could have done without the global girl judge popping in mid-way through the season. Team Ester but her palette would never be global so Jonny took it all.

Mary Jane Leland April 29, 2020 - 7:06 PM

Thought the show/season was great; love the judges. I agree with Heidi – very authentic that the judges have different opinions even up to the final two. I think that makes it easier for the runner up (and those rooting for that designer) to cope as well. Heidi and Naomi agreed on Esther at the end. Title of this article is not descriptive of the content. I’m glad Esther’s line can be shopped somewhere – at Shopbop. I thought she was a standout and surprised jonny won out. I weigh the creation more than the marketing and resonated with Altuzarra when he said of Jonny’s line at one point that he felt he’d seen it before. I think the Judges gave so much sincere feedback that the designers will not be discouraged from continuing to pursue their dreams.

I didn’t expect to like this show as much as PR but liked it way better. Hoping for more seasons!!!

Anne Lewis April 30, 2020 - 3:55 AM

I was looking forward to this series. I watched Project Runway thinking how it would survive after Tim and Heidi. Discovered I love Christian. He brings a whole new approach to PR. I was disappointed in MTC. The “runways” were too frenetic and did not feature the clothing enough. The interludes with Heidi and Tim were time wasters. The designers were equal but not superior to PR. The judges were unimpressive except for Naomi. Nicole Ritchie really? Not enough time looking at clothes. Back to PR!

Eric May 14, 2020 - 10:19 AM

This might seem trivial to some, but the music selections made me want to punch the nearest wall. Why cater to ones with terrible tastes in music? It was just one trashy and disposable pop song after another. It sounded like the soundtrack for a Disney show aimed at an 8 year old. How about a little more sophistication next time? How about hire a knowledgeable music director next season?

Aneice McShan June 27, 2021 - 10:51 AM

I really didn’t like that Johnny won for the fact that he got so much help throughout the entire show. Pisses me off to think he beat Esther when she’s the reason he even made it to the final three because she finished his pieces. He did it earlier in the show to Rinat. It really turned me off when his look was up against Rinat’s and he didn’t have the decency to say she helped him. She sewed on those damn sleeves that Naomi loved so much. Megan didn’t make the final three after he got help from Esther. I was just upset by that to be honest.

Dianne Carole Graham July 21, 2021 - 11:45 PM

So disappointed that Esther did not win. She was better in every aspect! I couldn’t stand some of those judges -Altuzarra always had too much to say, Nicole Ritchie was way too harsh. Those silly fill-ins with Tim Gun and Heidi Klum were ridiculous. It was shocking that some designers didn’t know how to sew. All in all it was an ok season except for the ending.

ltmarco July 30, 2021 - 3:58 PM

I’m surprised that no on has addressed the ignorance and narcissistic attitude of Naomi Campbell… the majority of her comments were regarding the “waistline” of the clothing. She was argumentative, rude and mean to both the judges and mainly the designers, treating them like bad little school children!
I hated the show because of her! I also was not impressed at the other judges. They need at least one judge like Nina Garcia that has actual work experience and has had high level responsible positions. Naomi Campbell offered only her opinion of being horrified if she had to model a jacket with a large sleeve shirt beneath it or if she would wear it..who cares what you would wear Naomi?!?! Everyone has different taste and everyone is not an overpaid supermodel with little knowledge of anything else.


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