"I thought with the network switch, I thought maybe it is time, maybe it is a sign to move on and let Project Runway walk by itself," Klum told PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
October 03, 2018 03:46 PM
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Heidi Klum is opening up about the reasoning behind her departure from Project Runway.

“I felt it was time to leave,” Klum, 45, told PEOPLE while promoting her partnership with Perfectil USA, the U.K.’s top hair, skin and nails vitamin. “The show got moved from Lifetime, and I loved them. These people have worked super hard for many years. I thought with the network switch, I thought maybe it is time, maybe it is a sign to move on and let Project Runway walk by itself.”

Last month, Klum and Tim Gunn — who have co-hosted the reality fashion design competition series since 2004 — announced that they were leaving after 16 seasons.

“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” Klum said in a statement. “I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I am so appreciative of the dedicated fans, and most of all, I am grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers’ careers. I’m most excited that my journey with my dear friend and colleague, Tim Gunn, is far from over. We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”

Said Gunn in his statement, “I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me! I am so proud to have been a part of the groundbreaking process that showcased talented young designers as never before. Most importantly, I am indebted to our incredible fans, they are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena. I’m excited for them to see what’s next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”

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The reality show has been renewed for a 17th season and will be returning to original network Bravo, where it aired from 2004-08.

“Bravo is proud to bring Project Runway back where it all began, and Heidi and Tim will always be a huge part of the legacy,” the network said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo’s reboot for the next generation of designers and fans. We are excited to announce our new host and mentor very soon.”

But it won’t be long before Klum and Gunn make their TV debut yet again. The pair is developing a reality fashion series with Amazon Prime Video.

Their new show “will be a fresh take in the reality space and will appeal to a global audience who are entertained by competition, storytelling, and authenticity. Additionally, Amazon Fashion will create a shoppable experience for viewers,” according to a press release from Amazon.

Throughout the 14 years that Project Runway has aired, it has earned 58 Emmy Awards nominations and scored two gold statues, according to the Television Academy. In 2013, Klum and Gunn together won an Emmy for outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program, and in 2009, the series won the Emmy for outstanding picture editing for reality programming.