Challenge Venues

Upon discovering Making the Cut, I fell in love with the runway show ideas, creative direction, and ultimately their executions! These are not your average runway shows and to put one on of this scale, sophistication, and resource for an emerging designers’ competition show? Over the top excess. Yet somehow still not in bad taste!? Tim Gunn FTW!

In Making the Cut: Season 1, designers travel to 3 of the 4 fashion capitals of the world, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. They visit 3 continents and 3 countries! Below is a list of the final fashion show experience in each of the countries they visited along with any notable venues they also stopped in! If you’re new to the show, here’s my recap on the very first season of Making the Cut! Check out below for ways to watch and where to buy!

S1:E1 Eiffel Tower, Paris. Esther Perbandt.

Challenge 1: Eiffel Tower

2 Looks – Brand Identity in Runway, Accessible. Shown in Paris under the Eiffel Tower. Venue was so well produced.

NoMo Hotel, New York and Sacre Coeur, Paris were also featured in this episode.

Winner: Esther Perbandt

S1:E2 Musee des Decoratifs, Paris. Hosts – Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

Challenge 2: Musee des Decoratifs

2 Looks – Haute Couture, Accessible. Shown in Musee des Arts Decoratifs in the Louvre Palace. Venue was breathtaking. It’s one of my faves ever. The architecture, the all white and gold, the way the entire show as organized was so beautiful! Designers toured Paris and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.

Bonus: Feature in CR Fashionbook.

Winner: Esther Perbandt

S1: E3 River Seine, Paris. Megan Smith x Jonny Cota.

Challenge 3: River Seine

Collaboration Team Challenge. 3-Look Mini Collection. 1 must be Accessible. Shown along the River Seine. So Paris. So “French Romance”. They really captured the essence of each challenge, show, and the locales they took place in.

Winner: Sander Bos x Sabato Russo

S1: E4 Bal des Marinieres Designer Workspace

Challenge 4: Bal des Marinieres

7-Hour Survivor Challenge – 1 Look. Shown in their workstudio. I couldn’t get a decent pic of the workspace but it was cute.

Created using any leftover fabric scraps found in studio and without the help of seamstresses. Meant to weed out one more designer.

Winner: Jonny Cota

S1: E5 Tokyo Plaza, Japan. Jiwon Choi.

Challenge 5: Tokyo Plaza

Tokyo Streetwear Challenge. 2-Look Streetwear in Showstopper, Accessible. Inspired by Harajuku District, Tokyo Prefecture. Shown at Tokyo Plaza Concourse.

Bonus: Puma Collaboration.

Winner: Rinat Brodach

S1: E6 Amazon Fashion Studios, Tokyo. Sander Bos. Megan Smith’s immersive backdrop here.

Challenge 6 – Amazon Fashion Studios, Tokyo

Opposing Forces Challenge. 2-Looks, 1 Accessible.

This was one of my faves! The concept for the runway show was so “fire”. Literally. Each designer showed their collections in tandem with motion graphics custom designed for the runway show and the space it took place in for an immersive experience. Each designer had a different “experience”. All the backdrops here in The Cool Table’s post.

Bonus: Noonoouri posted the winning look on her social media.

Winner: Sander Bos

S1: E7 Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum, Tokyo. Esther Perbandt.

Challenge 7: Edo Architectural Museum

Digital Marketing Campaign. 2-Looks + 3 photos to captivate through digital media.

Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum is an open-air museum dedicated to preserving historical homes and landscape.

Winner: Jonny Cota

S1: E8 Harbor Boat Cruise, Tokyo. Esther Perbandt.

Challenge 8: Harbor Boat Cruise, Tokyo

Brand Evolution. 2-4 Looks, 1 Accessible for the Final Four spots! My least fave venue, although very symbolic and meaningful.

Sander Bos and Esther Perbandt were my picks. Jonny Cota’s dresses get honorable mention.

Winner: Esther Perbandt

S1: E9 Hudson Mercantile, NYC. Sander Bos. Esther Perbandt.

Challenge 9: Hudson Mercantile, Hudson Yards

Pop-Up Challenge for the Top Three spots took place in New York in the Hudson Mercantile at Hudson Yards (home to The Vessel). Shopping experience is all digital a la Amazon! Each studio was designed and decorated with the designer’s aesthetic in mind.

Designers must design an accessible preview of their potential finale show along with 12-14 looks for said show! Then, they must also draft a business plan to pitch as part of the judging!

Bonus: Only 2 designers will move on to the final challenge.

Winner: Jonny Cota

S1: E10 Highline Park, NYC. Hosts – Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

Challenge 10: Highline Park

Finale “Runway-Off” shown at the Highline, an elevated park architected on abandoned above-ground railroad tracks. SO New York. And it really is great. It is a 1.5 mile park that runs from Hudson Yards down to Meat-Packing District.

Esther Perbandt should have won!

Season Winner: Jonny Cota


All seasons of Making the Cut are available on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video comes free with an Amazon Prime Membership or can be purchased alone.

More ways to watch found on IMDB. More detailed info can be found on Wikipedia and Instagram.

Making the Cut launched on Amazon Prime Video in 2020 and is an Amazon Original Series.


Making the Cut Homepage here.

Making the Cut Store here.

Previous Seasons’ Collections here.

Amazon Fashion here.