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By Suzanne

Nina Garcia

Interview with Nina Garcia of "Project Runway" on Lifetime Network

We have a fantastic transcript from our recent Q&A with star judge, Nina Garcia. Nina talked about her new book Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear For Every Occasion, motherhood, her own fashion trends and most importantly, Project Runway!

MEREDITH CORPORATION: Nina Garcia Q&A September 23, 2010 2:30 p.m. EDT
Laura Murphy – New Media Strategies
Nina Garcia – Judge, Project Runway


L. Murphy Good afternoon. This is Laura Murphy from New Media Strategies. I'd like to thank everyone for joining us for today's Project Runway Q&A session and start things off by thanking Nina Garcia for being with us today to answer questions.

As you know, Ms. Garcia is a fashion director of Marie Claire and a star judge on Project Runway, which is in its 8th season and airs Thursdays at 9/8 Central on Lifetime. Ms. Garcia is also the author of three bestselling books on style and has recently released Nina Garcia's Look Book, What to Wear for Every Occasion. In just a moment we'll begin the Q&A session. I'd like to remind all participants, you will receive a transcript of this session within the next 24 to 48 hours. I would also like to remind everyone to please limit yourself to one question and one follow up at a time. You may then reenter the question queue later in the session with any additional questions. This will ensure that we field as many questions as possible within the allotted time. Also, please make sure that your questions are coming from the list that you had sent earlier in the week. If a question is asked that was not sent in advanced, we are going to have to move on to the next question.

I would now like to turn the call back over to our Moderator to begin the formal Q&A session.

Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Jenny Schafer with

J. Schafer I'm just wondering about how your three-year-old son, Lucas is doing and if he's into fashion and into dressing up.

N. Garcia No, not yet. He is not into dressing up yet. But he is very excited about his little brother.

J. Schafer Oh, that's great. So, he understands?

N. Garcia Yes. I mean, I don't know, we'll see when the time arrives. He understands there's a baby that's coming and it's going to be his little brother. He's very excited so far.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Dodai Stewart with

D. Stewart I'm wondering if you read the news or heard the news that recently Essence Magazine hired a white fashion director. Since there are very few or, if any, other fashion directors of color as a fashion director and a woman from a Latin American background, do you feel that there's enough diversity in terms of fashion editors and directors?

N. Garcia Of course there's always room for diversity. But I'm proud of the fact that over the past few years there's been many designers, models, and editors from very different nationalities. So, there is no stopping the diversity. It will happen sooner or later.

I already think in terms of the fashion business there's a lot of Latin's involved in fashion that have very good positions. Even ... Puerto Rican and she's also a Latina. So, I do think there's diversity already. I think it's just been a little bit blown up, out of proportion.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Brooke Sager with

B. Sager We were wondering since you're the fashion director at Marie Claire and you're the judge on Project Runaway, how do you make time for family with such a busy schedule?

N. Garcia It's all about time management and keeping priorities straight. I'm very family oriented. So, yes, family comes first, but it's about keeping organized. I'm lucky to have a very, wonderful husband and great help. So, that's been very helpful. No social life, that's the other secret. None of my friends see me.

B. Sager We were wondering if you refer to the books you write while you're judging on Project Runaway?

N. Garcia Do I refer to it? No. Not really, but I think the program and the books are very related because a lot of the challenges that we have on the show kind of relate with everyday circumstances that I write about. My books are for the women out there that have to solve problems or have questions and that's what I like to do. The show addresses those same kind of dilemmas. So, it's kind of helping in fashion dilemmas.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Katrina Mitzeliotis with

K. Mitzeliotis What do you think Christian Siriano has that granted him the ability to find such main stream success, post runway? Do you see any up and coming contestants who have the same ability to achieve that success?

N. Garcia It's a tough business to make it in. It takes a long time. I don't think people realize how long for a normal desire that's not in a celebrity that's on a television show. It's taken Marc Jacobs 20 years. It takes a long time.

But, what Christian has that has helped him tremendously is he's got the tenacity, the personality, the creativity, and the age where he is prime to really work very hard and go for it. You need a lot of components to make it and some designers take longer than others. It's a tough business. It's just not instant fame like other fields. Fashion is a little longer. But, yes, Christian has a lot of elements that have made him very successful.

K. Mitzeliotis Have you seen anyone else who you think who has that?

N. Garcia Well, you have to wait until this season's over, but I do think the winner of this season could very well have the same kind of stamina that Christian has.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Melody Nazarian with FabSugar.

M. Nazarian Our Fab readers would love to know what one day in the life of Nina Garcia looks like at Marie Claire, a typical day at Marie Claire for Nina Garcia.

N. Garcia Well, I'll give you a typical day like today. I came in, I'm looking at December layouts. I'm making sure that the front of the book—we're working on our gift guide. So, I'm doing the layouts or approving layouts for that gift guide. Kind of putting to bed the December issue, making sure all the stories are in. Simultaneously, I am speaking to the editors who are in Europe and coordinating our January cover, our February cover, and our March cover. So, we are taking about all these covers that are happening very soon and ironing out what's going to be the shoot for the January issue, January and February. So, assigning the stories, picking the photographers, picking the stylists.

Tomorrow, we'll have a run-through for our February cover, that's very exciting. So I'll meet with the stylist, go over the clothes. So I kind of looked at what's in the closet already so that I'm prepared for tomorrow's meeting. So far that's today.

M. Nazarian Wow, that pretty packed for just one day.

N. Garcia Yes, but its fun.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Beth Fitzpatrick with AOL StyleList.

B. Fitzpatrick I wanted to ask you about something that Tim Gunn said in an interview with us at the beginning of this season. He referred to the judges this season, as "crack smoking." He said in jest, but I was wondering if you had regretted any of the judging decisions you've made so far this season.

N. Garcia Absolutely not. The situation is Tim gets a closer look at the everyday life of the designers and what happens in the studio and what happens with their personalities. We don't. We really have no idea. We are like the viewers at home. We are just sitting there, watching the runway, and we have no idea the background: what happened, how much time they've spent on an outfit, how much they didn't spend on an outfit. We are just judging them for their work.

It's the same situation as if we were in a fashion show. On seeing the show, I don't know if John Galliano had a nervous breakdown or didn't. I have no clue. I'm just part of the audience. I'm there as an editor. It's the same function that I work in my everyday life.

So, there is no personal or emotional point of view. We don't bring anything emotional, any connection because we don't see it. We don't have any relation with the designers other than the Q&A that you see on television, which I think gives for a more well-rounded and favor, more objective critic because it's not emotional.

B. Fitzpatrick I wondered if you or the producers had ever considered having the designers make you some maternity apparel to wear to a special occasion this season.

N. Garcia Oh, that would have been great. I don't think it was discussed because the season was already planned by the time the news broke out. But I know in the past we did a maternity. I think it was the first or second season we did a maternity challenge, but a real one would have been great. That would have been so welcomed for me. I would have loved it.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Cynthia Boris with

C. Boris This year—well every year—there's some interesting behavior from the designers when they get up in front of you guys. I wondered how much their attitude, particularly their poor attitude, plays into deciding who goes home.

N. Garcia Well, in the past, we have looked at the attitude because, as you know, when you're in business, it's a lot about how you feel with your co-workers and how you are going to either direct a team, or work with a team. That plays a big part. Forget your own personal relationships with your team and with your company but also so much part of designers now is dealing with the press, and dealing with the buyers, the retailers. So, it is important to have a good attitude.

We take that into consideration. It's not the deciding factor. But I think we look at that. Absolutely, we look at that.

Moderator Our next question comes from Hanh Nguyen with the

H. Nguyen I just wanted to know—it's kind of following in with what you're saying about the personalities. But, can you puzzle out why there's such a huge disconnect between how judges are perceiving Michael C's design versus the other designers? Because it feels like it's even beyond personality, they're baffled like why anyone finds anything good with his stuff.

N. Garcia I don't know. I mean it's very interesting to watch this because we only sensed a little bit in the deliberation. You know that they picked on him, and threw him under the bus and he's kind of picked on. I don't know. I think he's just a very sweet guy and they've decided to jump on him. He really is very sweet. From what I've seen in the television, in the back, what's happening in the work room, it seems that he is not such a good technical sewer, he's more of a draper. So, I feel like in that sense, they've kind of all ganged up on him. But I know he's got some really beautiful things, Michael.

H. Nguyen There's been so many promo's hinting that something huge is coming up and you just said something. When are we going to get this, tonight, next week?

N. Garcia I wish it could be tonight, but it's very soon. It's just a very emotional moment in the show and it's the first time that something like this has happened. It’s a very powerful and a very admirable moment. So, you've just go to watch.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Brooke Sager with

B. Sager What trend would you never be caught dead wearing?

N. Garcia That's a tough question but probably anything neon and very short. I don't think I would go there. That time has gone. It's past and gone.

L. Murphy Ladies and gentlemen that will conclude today's session. I'd like to once again thank Nina Garcia for joining us and then remind everyone to tune into Project Runway, Thursdays at 9/8 central. Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your day, everyone.

We have some other excellent Project Runway goodies!

We have a 30 second preview of Episode 10 available for you today:  . You won't want to miss this episode when accusations of cheating come to light!

PROJECT RUNWAY - SEASON 8 "Project Runway" airs Thursdays at 9 pm et/pt, supersized as 90-minute episodes. Hosted by supermodel and fashion maven Heidi Klum, the hit series provides 17 talented designers - the most in series history - with an opportunity to launch their careers in fashion, under the watchful eye of mentor and Liz Claiborne Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn . Judges Michael Kors  and Nina Garcia weigh in on the best and worst of the runway.

Official Site: 



Official Blog: 

Tune In to Project Runway, Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on Lifetime!

This episode is not to be missed!!!!

The designers take a trip down memory lane when old photos of themselves pop up in the workroom but quickly are brought back to the present when they are tasked with designing their own fabric and garment to correspond to a memorably time in their lives.

One designer reveals an emotional secret that leaves everyone shocked and in tears.

Designer Rachel Roy serves as the guest judge.

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