Fashion Star: H&M’s Communications Director for its North American division

*The premiere of NBC’s big reality series “Fashion Star” takes place Tuesday, from 9:30 to 11 p.m. – with the competition based less on the 14 contestants’ designing skills, and more on their ability to create a fashion brand.

In addition to celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos, (each owners of their own successful fashion labels), the series will have retail buyers from Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M battling each other to carry the various lines presented by the contestants each week.

The winning buyer is chosen by the contestant, and his or her line will be available for purchase the following day — on the retailer’s website as well as the store’s physical locations across the country.

(Top Row) Macy's Caprice Willard, Saks Fifth Avenue's Terron E. Schaefer, H&M's Nicole Christie, (Bottom Row) Celebrity Mentor Jessica Simpson, Celebrity Mentor John Varvatos and Celebrity Mentor Nicole Richie speak onstage during the "Fashion Star" panel during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on Jan. 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California

The series will come down to three final contestants competing for a grand prize of $6 million in orders for their designs from all three retailers.  That winner is chosen by the buyers – H&M’s communication director for its North American division Nicole Christie [pictured above, top right]; Macy’s vice president and regional planning manager of women’s apparel Caprice Willard [pictured above, top left]; and Saks’ Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Terron Schaefer.  However, the mentors – Nicole, Jessica and John – get to “save” contestants of their choice from elimination.

“Fashion Star” completed filming late last year, opting against a live format so that the winning designer’s fashions would have enough time to become available for immediate purchase.

Looking back on the season, H&M’s Christie said the most difficult part for her was the process of choosing the winner – because it had to be unanimous among all three buyers.

Listen below.

The 10-week “Fashion Star,” with host Elle Macpherson, will air at 10 p.m., except for the premiere, which will run 9:30-11 p.m. Watch a bio of Nicole Christie below.