Project Runway Korea( Korean : 프로젝트 런웨이 코리아) is the Korean version of the American reality showProject Runway. It is Korean television's first localized franchise from a foreign-language reality competition, and the thirdProject Runwayversion in Asia after Malaysia and the Philippines .
The winner ofProject Runway Korea's first season received ₩ 50 million in prize money, along with a car and a fashion spread inElle Korea; the second season increased the prize money to ₩70 million.
The show is hosted by Lee So-ra, supermodel, together with Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Korea Shin Yoo-jin and ANDY & DEBB designer Kim Seok-won completing the judging panel. Meanwhile, fashion design professor Kan Ho-sup serves as mentor to the designers.
Lee replaced Kang Ho-dong (comedian and variety show host), who was the choice to host Project Runway Korea, as FremantleMedia (international distributor of the Project Runway franchise) found it inappropriate to have a comedian in a fashion-related program. Over 500 designers auditioned, and 14 of them were chosen as finalists. The final three designers will get the chance to show their collection in the 2009 Fall/ Winter Seoul Collection, with the winner receiving 50 million won (roughly US$34,200), a 2009 GM Daewoo Lacetti and a fashion spread in ELLE Korea. The show premiered on cable network OnStyle on February 7, 2009.
News reports stated that the production company of Project Runway Korea paid 100 million won (roughly US$71,900) to purchase the franchise, which included a 700-page "bible" that details the program's format, production notes, and casting procedures. The whole season is said to have been produced at a budget of 700 million won (roughly US$506,100) for all of its 10 episodes, compared to Project Runway that has a production budget of 500 million won (roughly US$361,500) for every episode.
During the promotion of the program, the staff of Project Runway Korea stated that "everything about (Project Runway and its Korean version) is the same except for the color of the contestants' skin."
The first season will feature appearances from celebrity Uhm Jung-hwa, fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, and designer from Project Runway's fourth season Victorya Hong, who incidentally has Korean lineage.
As of Season 4 , the show has begun filming in a HDTV format.