Often recognized for her frank, no nonsense, critiques as a judge on Project Runway, Nina Garcia famously worked at Elle Magazine as both Fashion Director, and then Editor at Large from 2000 to 2008. In 2008, Nina moved to Marie Claire significantly transforming the publication, and ultimately being promoted to Creative Director in 2013.
We caught up with Ms. Garcia last Thursday, as Marie Claire hosted a party on Oak Street at Emporio Armani. While she may be known from TV for her frankness and tough love, in person, Nina was nothing but gracious, warm and lovely!
What can you tell us about the current collection from Armani? Where does it fit into what we’re seeing overall this fall?
Here’s the beauty about Armani, when you buy the clothes you’re buying clothes that you can add to. It gives a nod to the trends, but what your really buying is investment pieces that you can build upon and grow with. Yes they’ll have the leather we’re seeing, and the trends of the season, but what you’re really buying is that longevity, the quality and the timelessness. Be it for evening or for day, they have the best-cut suit and the best beaded gowns. It something that when you buy you will keep. It’s not one of those designers that are a trend every season. I’ve never seen Armani that way.
Do you have a personal relationship with Mr. Armani? Are there any fond moments or memories with him that stand out in your mind?
There are many memorable shows from Armani; he just came to New York for a big show two weeks ago with his collection. However, I still remember the first time he came to New York which I think was around ten years ago, and I very much remember that. On a personal level, one time I was on an island for Christmas, a private island in the Caribbean, and Mr. Armani’s boat came to the island. So this big boat arrives, and all of the sudden men came to the beach with perfectly laid out towels, all the same, everything uniform, and then here came Mr. Armani, in his 70’s but perfectly fit, just impeccable. Meanwhile, I was just at the beach with the kids, and he looked amazing!
What has been your biggest accomplishment since you arrived at Marie Claire in 2008?
It’s been fun; it’s been a fun process. I think, yes the magazine has transformed tremendously since I got there, and now I’m proud to say that today it is a fashion magazine.
If you had come up in the fashion industry at a different time would you have had a blog?
Oh my gosh, if I had come up at the time you guys are living now, I would have definitely [had a blog]! I think about that all the time actually! What would I have done if I were younger and living in this era? I think it’s phenomenal! You guys are so lucky and so fortunate that there are so many possibilities. It’s phenomenal. You have a voice, and you can have an opinion. Enjoy it, and seize the moment!
[Photos By Natalie Probst]