August 30, 2004 09:00 AM

Reality TV star Donald Trump may be planning to launch his own menswear line next month, but established fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is taking his career in the opposite direction – by becoming the star of his own reality show.

CBS has signed Hilfiger, 53, to serve as host of a 13-episode midseason replacement tentatively titled The Cut, says the Hollywood Reporter.

The show will pit 16 aspiring designers against one another as they show off in such areas as talent, business savvy and sales and marketing know-how.

The winner – to be decided by the host and a “style council” from the worlds of fashion, art, music and entertainment – will be offered the opportunity to design a line under the Tommy Hilfiger label.

“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream,” said Hilfiger, who started his career as a high school student selling bellbottom jeans out of his Volkswagen, then saw it take off in 1994, when Snoop Dogg wore a Tommy T-shirt on Saturday Night Live.

The Cut is going to give someone the opportunity of a lifetime and help that person achieve his or her dreams,” Hilfiger added in his statement.

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