On Friday, the pair announced that they are leaving the fashion design competition series after 16 seasons and will soon be developing a reality fashion series with Amazon Prime Video.
“I’m so grateful for all the amazing experiences and people that my career have brought into my life. People ask me if I’m living my dream, but I couldn’t even have dreamed up this path 25 years ago,” Klum, 45, exclusively tells PEOPLE.
“I got into this world by entering a modeling contest on a whim! When I think back now on all the things I’ve gotten to do — from being on covers and working with the world’s best photographers to singing and dancing in front of an entire arena or judging on television so that some talented person can be discovered — it’s all incredible!” adds the supermodel and mother of four. “I’m thankful to everyone, including my incredibly loyal fans who’ve joined me through this crazy, fun ride. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Klum’s fellow America’s Got Talent judge, Simon Cowell, congratulated her on the new endeavor, saying, “Heidi is one of the most astute, hardworking people I have worked with. She always looks ahead and has a fantastic relationship with her fans. I am thrilled she has this new deal. And she is a very nice person!”
In celebration of their many years as coworkers and friends — and Emmy Award winners! — Klum shared the top five things she loves about Gunn, 65, with PEOPLE.
1. Tim so genuinely and deeply cares about the designers he mentors.
He is always looking out for them, and makes sure to do everything he can to set them up for success. Having said that, he’s definitely had a few designers over the years who’ve tried his patience!
2. Tim’s a real New Yorker.
He takes the subway or walks everywhere. Even when the show offered him a car service, he’d never take it!
3. Tim is a walking dictionary.
He is incredibly well-read and has the most eloquent vocabulary of anyone I’ve ever met. We learn five new words every week from Tim!
4. Tim and I are a bit of an odd couple – we couldn’t be more different.
Tim is always dressed impeccably and dapper in a suit. I’m a bit more of a risk taker. But, we both share the same passion for fashion.
5. Tim and I have a new show brewing.
It will involve fashion and design, in a fresh, modern way. Can’t wait to let people know more soon!
BONUS: Tim also gives back and makes the world a better place.
He has a huge, generous heart. He has done amazing work for The Trevor Project supporting LGBTQ youth. He’s also delivered meals with me to God’s Love We Deliver clients who are too sick to cook for themselves.
The pair’s upcoming new series “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 on Friday from the streaming giant.
“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,” Gunn said in his statement. “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.”