Jonny Cota, a savvy fashion designer who was raised in Martinez and graduated from Alhambra High School, has a shot at the $1 million grand prize when the season finale of “Making the Cut” drops Friday, April 24, on Amazon Prime.
“Making the Cut,” a new 10-episode fashion competition headlined by former “Project Runway” personalities Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, began streaming on March 27 with 12 established designers who were culled from thousands. After competing in New York, Paris and Tokyo to bring their brands to a new level, the field was trimmed to three — Esther Perbandt and Sander Bos and Cota.
In the Friday finale, one designer’s journey comes to an end — leaving the last two to present a business pitch to the president of Amazon Fashion and showcase a final 12-to-14 look collection.
The winner receives a mentorship, an exclusive line on Amazon, and $1 million to invest into their brand.
In a Thursday Instagram post, Cota expressed his joy over being the only American left in the competition.
“Isn’t that crazy?” he wrote. “I have hustled all my life to try to make my fashion dreams come true but never did I imagine that I’d be representing America in a global fashion competition on @amazonprimevideo. …”
After attending Alhambra, Cota graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in journalism. (We applaud him for taking a different path). He is known for is “edgy, progressive streetwear.” You can get a feel for his approach at his website, skingraftdesigns.com.
When Klum and Gunn introduced the show to journalists back in January, they stressed how different “Making the Cut” is from “Project Runway.” Not only does the new show have a bigger budget and a global reach, it also goes beyond fashion design to emphasize the building of a brand. (The winner’s exclusive collection will launch in Amazon Fashion’s stores in the U.S. following the series finale).
“When you have a bigger budget, you get to travel and let these designers see different things,” Klum said. “It makes for a better show.”