British 'It' girl to host a new US television series

Alexa Chung, the fashionable British model and TV presenter, will host a new series on PBS next summer.

Created by Style.com special projects editor Maya Singer, Thrift America will follow Chung as she scours consignment shops, garage sales and flea markets for old clothing, furniture, and other trinkets. The first episode will involve Chung helping New York-based jewelry designer Pamela Love create a pop-up shop in London during Fashion Week. Other cities that will be featured in the series include Orlando, Detroit, Nashville, and Brooklyn, as well as the global fashion capital of Paris.

The New York Times calls the new series a crossover between Antiques Roadshow and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Singer told the newspaper that viewers wanting to emulate Chung's signature high-low style will be able to witness firsthand, "What does Alexa Chung pull out of the crap bin at the yard sale?"

Chung is the fashion darling of the moment. The 26-year-old style icon has graced the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar, served as Karl Lagerfeld's muse, and even had a handbag named after her. After noticing Chung's carrying of a vintage Mulberry men's briefcase, the British luxury goods company created the "Alexa," a $1,150 buffalo-leather handbag that is now one of Mulberry's bestsellers.

But despite being identified last month by The Sunday Telegraph as one of the 100 most-powerful women in Britain, Chung remains largely unfamiliar to the American mass audience. And there is no guarantee that Chung's new series will strike a chord with Americans. Her US television debut, MTV's It's On with Alexa Chung, was a flop - it was canceled last year after two seasons.

Still, hope remains. British transplants Victoria Beckham - a former Spice Girl - and her world famous footballer husband David Beckham successfully conquered the collective adoration of America upon their relocation to Los Angeles in 2007. Victoria, in particular, has transformed herself into a veritable fixture in Hollywood and a regular face in the pages of American celebrity gossip magazines. Since crossing the pond, Victoria has become best friends with Tom Cruise's wife Katie Holmes, modeled for Emporio Armani lingerie, and even launched her own eponymous clothing line, which is carried at the upscale New York department store Bergdorf Goodman.

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