There were high hopes all round for Fashion Star - the new fashion design talent contest from NBC. The show has an unusual format, in comparison to its rival, Project Runway, in that the designs featured on the show are later made available at mainstream retailers.

It was hoped that this injection of a real life test would attract large numbers of viewers, along with the draw of having Elle Macpherson as host and celebrity mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and JOHN VAVARTOS. However, a report from Fox News today (March 15, 2012) suggests that although the fashion retailers are doing well out of the show, the show itself is floundering in terms of viewer figures. Despite the preceding hype, Tuesday's season premiere attracted just 4.6 million viewers (nearly 2 million fewer than its lead-in The Biggest Loser).

Things are looking far rosier for the shops that are gaining invaluable exposure from the show, though, with H&M in 5th Avenue, New York, reporting that they have only a couple of Tuesday's winning dresses left to sell. Saks Fifth Avenue, Manhattan also reported that their dresses were "selling really well." And the skirt that found a home at MACy's had sold out entirely. Jamie Hilfiger (supermodel and niece to fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger) dismissed the show as being "just like a big infomercial" and added that she lost interest half way through.