The show is hosted by Lee So-ra, who is considered as the country's first 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 first 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 (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 " title="Project Runway (season 4)">Project Runway's fourth season Victorya Hong, who incidentally has Korean lineage.>
Fashion design buffs will get to watch another season of the hit reality show ``Project Runway Korea'' this month on cable channel On Style.
The first season of the Korean version of the American program wrapped up last year with the winner Lee Woo-kyung winning 50 million won, a sedan and a spread in fashion magazine ELLE. The competition will continue with more challenging missions, distinctive contestants and catchy designs. The program joined hands with the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the 11-episode season, giving it an overall boost in size and content.