Tim Gunn leaves Parsons to join Liz Claiborne as its chief creative officer

Project Runway mentor and star Tim Gunn is leaving his job at Parsons to become the chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne, the company said today. He “will be responsible for attracting, retaining and developing the creative talent within the Liz Claiborne Inc. portfolio of brands,” according to a press release.

Tim is currently chair of the fashion design program at Parsons, but will start in his new job March 5. Gawker has his “leadership transition” memo to the school.

In the announcement, Liz Claiborne’s CEO, William L. McComb, said that “Tim knows we fully support his Bravo projects, including his own upcoming series ‘Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.’ In fact, it is his involvement in these initiatives and the design world at large that will help keep Tim vital in this new role.”

That obviously leaves open the possibility that Tim will return for Project Runway 4. However, Parsons was the home of the series for its first three series, and while it seems unlikely that producers would replace him, this move seems to make that possibility a bit more likely than it was before. And it’s sort of odd that the news release only explicitly mentions his upcoming series, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, but not future appearances on the show that made him famous.

McComb also said that, in his new job, “Tim will be a spokesperson for the creative community, a champion of product innovation, integrity and exceptional price-value and a catalyst for the creation of the irresistible product our consumers want and deserve. He is also charged with creating systems to further develop our creative community and scouting the market for great talent.”

Liz Claiborne Inc. Names Tim Gunn Chief Creative Officer [Liz Claiborne press release]