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July 09, 2011  | by: Abby Adesanya

Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie

With news of Christina Aguilera holding down the fort on The Voice and Cheryl Cole previously on the panel for The X Factor US, television has officially become the hottest stomping ground for high-profile celebrities. Fashion mogul Jessica Simpson and stylish socialite Nicole Richie have both signed on to mentor the entrants of NBC’s newest reality competition, Fashion Star.

Supermodel Elle Macpherson will serve as the host, guiding contestants towards the grand prize of a multimillion-dollar contract that will launch their fashion line onto the racks of three still unnamed major American retailers. In addition to the female mentors, fashion designer John Varvatos will be on the panel as well.

Paul Telegdy, NBC’s executive vice president of alternative programming, dishes:

“NBC could not have asked for better additions to the celebrity mentors than John Varvatos, one of the most well-known menswear designers in the nation and international style icon and creative director, Nicole Richie. Both are trendsetters and tastemakers and their design skills and expertise will be invaluable to our contestants on the series.”

Focused more on casual ready-to-wear than the couture aspect of Project Runway, Fashion Star will feature the plight of 14 amateur designers, showing them battling through not only fashion challenges, but business-themed ones as well. The show will be taped in front of a live studio audience, and viewers will also be able to purchase that week’s winning design online and in stores.

A premiere date has yet to be announced, but we’re excited to see Nicole Richie back on our small screens–sans the oversized sunglasses and purse-sized puppies.

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