The new season, which kicks off Friday with a live runway show in New York City’s Times Square, will begin airing July 19 (9 p.m. ET) on Lifetime.
“[The show] has been a great platform for many talented designers,” Klum, 39, continues. “Fans come up to me every day saying how much they love the show – that means so much.”
PEOPLE has a first look at the 16 designers competing on the new season – and it’s a diverse bunch from around the world. Kooan Kosuke, 30, of Himeji-shi, Japan, counts Jean Paul Gaultier among his favorite designers and calls the King of Pop Michael Jackson his style icon.
Buffi Jashanmal, 31, of London, studied fashion at London College of Fashion and at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. And she’s camera ready: Buffi worked as a TV host in Dubai, where her mother lives, and launched her first line there.