Gary Susman
August 27, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tommy Hilfiger, taking a cue from Donald Trump, is seeking some apprentices. The fashion designer is hosting an upcoming CBS reality competition called ”The Cut.” He’ll oversee the efforts of 16 amateur designers, who’ll live together in New York and face challenges ”that will test their talent, business acumen, sales and marketing expertise, resourcefulness and style IQs,” the network says. At the end of each episode, Hilfiger and his ”Style Council” of guest advisers (his celebrity pals from the fashion, music, and entertainment worlds) will live up to the show’s title and snip one contestant from the roster. The winner will get to design his or her own collection (of clothes, shoes, fragrances, or home furnishings), to be marketed under the Hilfiger label.

Hilfiger tells USA Today he’s ”looking for real people,” not industry insiders, to audition for the show. “It could be the housewife in Minnesota who sews her family’s clothes.”

Hilfiger was apparently undaunted by his daughter Ally’s experience as the star of another Viacom reality show, MTV’s unflattering ”Rich Girls.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times and other sources, after that show wrapped last year, Ally Hilfiger went into rehab and ended her friendship with costar Jamie Gleicher.

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