Meet the new 'Project Runway' designers

project-runway-s7-group-320.jpgThe good news for the new season of "Project Runway" is that after the show's lackluster first outing on Lifetime, there's room for improvement.

The better news is that with "Runway" returning to New York, judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia will be back with the show full-time (joining host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn) after missing much of last season. That should go a long way toward returning some luster to the show, which performed pretty well in the ratings (Lifetime says it's cable's top reality show among the female viewers it targets) but lacked some of the spark and outsize characters of past cycles.

A lot of that depends on the contestants too. We don't know yet if there are any breakout personalities among the 16 new designers, but they are at least a diverse lot. The field includes natives of the Dominican Republic, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Mexico and the Philippines.

The 16 designers are:

  • Amy Sarabi, 26 - Hometown: Plano, Texas; Resides in Oakland, Calif.
  • Anna Lynett, 23 - Hometown: Whitefish Bay, Wis.; Resides in Los Angeles
  • Anthony L. Williams, 28 - Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.; Resides in Atlanta
  • Ben Chmura, 30 - Hometown: South Meriden, Conn.; Resides in Tampa, Fla.
  • Christiane King, 30 - Hometown: Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Resides in Los Angeles
  • Emilio Sosa, 43 - Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Resides in New York
  • Jay Nicolas Sario, 31 - Hometown: The Philippines; Resides in San Francisco
  • Janeane Marie Ceccanti, 28 -Hometown: Willows, Calif.; Resides in Portland, Ore.
  • Jesse LeNoir, 25 - Hometown: Painesville, Ohio; Resides in Orlando, Fla.
  • Jesus Estrada, 21- Hometown: Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico; Resides in San Diego
  • Jonathan Joseph Peters, 29 - Hometown: Woonsocket, R.I.; Resides in Providence, R.I.
  • Maya Luz, 22 - Hometown: Santa Fe, N.M.; Resides in New York
  • Mila Hermanovski, 40 - Hometown: Dallas; Resides in Los Angeles
  • Pamela Ptak, 47 - Hometown: Pittsfield, Mass.; Resides in Riegelsville, Pa.
  • Ping Wu, 33 - Hometown: Chendu, Sichuan Province, China; Resides in Chicago
  • Seth Aaron Henderson, 38 - Hometown: San Diego; Resides in Vancouver, Wash.

The new "Project Runway" will premiere at 10 p.m. ET Jan. 14. Companion show "Models of the Runway" will also return with a fresh crop of models. Here they are:

models-of-the-runway-450wi.jpg

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Related:

'Project Runway' recaps

Photo credits: Lifetime