Project Runway: Threads

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Project Runway: Threads TV Poster Image
Young designers are the star of this runway.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The judges respect the talent of young designers and don't talk down to them. Praise is gentle and constructive. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The young designers on the show are talented and committed as well as confident. Some of them are very critical of the "assistant" who helps them on the show (a parent, usually a mom). 


Some outfits may reveal more skin than parents would prefer. 


The logos of various companies such as a major fabric store are shown on-screen many times per episode. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Project Runway: Threads is a youth-oriented spin-off of Project Runway with young fashion designers competing to design and make clothing. The youthful designers on the show are treated with respect, and their ideas and efforts are appreciated by judges who offer gentle criticisms. However, very young or sensitive viewers may find it stressful to watch other kids under pressure. Competitors may cry or yell at their "assistants" (usually their moms) during the competition. Budding artists may find it inspirational to watch other teen/tween artists work confidently. 

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What's the story?

PROJECT RUNWAY: THREADS, a junior-level spin-off of fashion-design competition Project Runway, switches things up by featuring young designers who are teens and tweens. On each hour-long episode, three talented young designers create themed outfits, always aware that show runners can throw in a twist at any moment. A parent or caregiver accompanies each designer, acting as a sewing assistant. At the end of a day, the designers show off their creations with a runway show featuring models wearing the newly minted fashion. One designer is crowned the winner and can go on to compete for a prize package including a fashion school scholarship and $10,000 from a fabric store. 

Is it any good?

It may be slightly deflating to adult-age fashionistas to watch how confidently the exceedingly youthful designers drape and stitch and to see the gorgeous creations that result. Kids can make clothes? Who knew? But, since many of the adult competitors on Project Runway talk about how they started making clothing in childhood, it shouldn't be a surprise.

If you have a young artist in your house, watching Threads may prove positively inspirational. The tension of the adult version of Runway is ratcheted down a bit, and the focus is firmly on what the designers are making, with interviews at various stages of the design process. Sensitive viewers may not like watching some of the junior designers cry or stress out during the proceedings, but seeing the proud looks on their faces once the work is done is priceless. Longtime Runway fans may miss the soothing presence of Tim Gunn

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which audience Project Runway: Threads is trying to reach. Young people? Older people? Those who are interested in fashion? Why would the network that makes this show want to attract this type of viewer? 

  • Would you like to compete on Project Runway: Threads? Why, or why not? 

  • If your parents give you permission, watch an episode of Project Runway. How is Threads different? Why do you think changes were made? 

TV details

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