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July 23, 2014

Molly Sims Talks Hosting 'Project Accessory': 'I'm Southern Tough'

by Maggie Furlong, posted Oct 27th 2011 11:00AM
Are Molly Sims and Heidi KlumMolly Sims, 'Project Accessory' competing for total world model domination? Hear me out: They were born just days apart, both got their start modeling, both own their own jewelry lines and now Sims is hosting the spin-off to Klum's baby, 'Project Runway,' titled 'Project Accessory' (premieres Thurs., Oct. 27, 10:30PM ET on Lifetime).

"No!" Sims said with a laugh, although she didn't deny their eerily similar careers. The biggest difference? Sims hasn't hosted a show since her days on MTV's 'House of Style' back in 2000.

"Listen, this was the first time I was actually nervous in a really long time," Sims admitted. "I'll never give up acting -- I just did an episode of 'Royal Pains' -- but after being on a drama ['Las Vegas'] for five years, I needed a break. Mama needed to find a husband!"

Sims, who's still buzzing from her September wedding -- "I'm so happy ... he's been a good husband for four weeks and a day!" -- is also crazy busy doing press for the show and her new lifestyle Web site, MollySims.com, also launching today.

Keep reading for more scoop and tell us: Do you think 'Accessory' can replicate the success of 'Runway'?

How much will the format of 'Accessory' follow the familiar 'Runway' model?
It feels the same, but it's its own show. The great challenge is that they had to do handbags, jewelry and shoes. They had to have a point of view, and they had to use raw materials, on a budget -- it had to do with aesthetic, style, the actual accessories and how they were made. Like, who's your girl and where is she going?

Those are all accessories, of course, but they're all such different fields. We know that some designers in the competition are specifically shoe designers, others only do jewelry -- do they have to mix it up challenge-by-challenge, or do the shoe designers always design shoes?
No, they all have to design everything. We made them! They had to all make shoes, they had to all make handbags and they had to all make jewelry. It was interesting to see the rivalries -- who helped whom, who wouldn't help anyone. Oh yeah, woman ... it was awesome. It's really a great behind-the-scenes thing. We got a sneak peek at how you actually make jewelry. We've seen so much about clothes, but how do you make a shoe? How do you design a shoe? All those things were so fun to watch.

This seems like the perfect job for you ...
I mean, I'm obsessed with 'Project Runway' -- I've watched it since it's been on. So when they sweetened the deal for me, you know ... I couldn't pass it up. I love the format, I love accessories. I buy more accessories than anything because I keep my basics basic and change it up with either a new bag, a new scarf or a new piece of jewelry. So this was really right up my alley.

Well and that's a good lesson for people at home. Your show isn't telling us we need an entirely new wardrobe each season. Times are tough -- just buy a new necklace to mix it up!
Exactly. And we really talk about that, too.

'Project Accessory' contestant Christina CarusoIt seems like this is a pretty talented, eclectic bunch ... any standouts?
Oh honey, their hands were bleeding ... the contestants were all amazing. Christina Caruso, James, Fred, Diego, Brian .... they were all so talented, and all talented in different ways. One girl had to pick materials from a storage bin, and she didn't know what was in the storage bin, so she made a necklace from rat traps. Disgusting and awesome. They're out there welding, making fabulous gold cuffs, molding resin ...

You've had your own accessory line for years. Does that make it easier or harder to judge other designers' work?
I think it makes it easier just because I am such a lover of accessories. Having been in the industry, I also know what looks good and what doesn't. Just being in fashion and working with great stylists and designers, I've gotten to see and still see the best of the best. I definitely was hard on them. I threw down the gauntlet a couple of times, like "Your girl would not wear that. I don't know anybody who would wear that!" [Laughs] It was hard, but you have to be tough. I'm Southern tough ... I'm nice, but I can be mean.

You're surrounded by men on the judging panel, like Kenneth Cole and InStyle Magazine's Ariel Foxman.
Oh yeah -- they're great. When the contestants found out that they were gonna be featured in InStyle, I thought they were gonna fall out of their seats, and then they're getting $100,000 from eBay on top of that? I was like, "Yes, that's what I said." [Laughs]

'Project Accessory' guest judge Debra MessingAnd what about the guest judges?
Debra Messing -- she's so awesome and so fun and whoo, she's got an opinion! I love it. Kelly Osbourne I couldn't even look at ... I was like, "Oh my god, did you really just say that?" She's fantastic. And Jenna Lyons from J. Crew. We had some great judges.

If the show gets a second season, who would be your dream pick for guest judge?
Probably SJP [Sarah Jessica Parker] would be my top favorite because she's such a lover of fashion and accessories.

Any chance we'll see your pal and stylist Rachel Zoe on the show? You always pop up on her Bravo show ...
Well you never know -- you'll have to wait and see. I will tell you one little secret: She styled me for the whole thing.

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