Nina Garcia: “I’m Very Family Oriented”

Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire and star judge on Project Runway, is getting ready to welcome her second son with businessman husband David Conrod. Nina is also the author of three bestselling books, including her latest What to Wear for Every Occasion. In a conference call with Celebrity Baby Scoop, the busy mom of 3-year-old son Lucas opened up about her hit show, a typical day in the life and if Lucas is excited to become a big brother.

CBS: Is Lucas into fashion and into dressing up?

NG: “No, not yet. He is not into dressing up yet. But he is very excited about his little brother.”

CBS: Do you think he understands there’s another baby coming?

NG: “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.”

How do you balance your career and family life?

NG: “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.”

Do you feel that there’s enough diversity in terms of fashion editors and directors?

NG: “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. So, I do think there’s diversity already. I think it’s just been a little bit blown up, out of proportion.”

Christian Siriano has found such mainstream success, post Runway. Do you see any up and coming contestants who have the same ability to achieve that success?

NG: “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.”

Have you seen anyone else who you think who has ‘it’?

NG: “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.”

Please describe a day in the life of Nina Garcia at Marie Claire.

NG: “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.”

Tim Gunn has referred to the judges this season as “crack smoking.” Have you regretted any of the judging decisions you’ve made so far this season?

NG: “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.”

Have you or the producers ever considered having the designers make you some maternity apparel to wear to a special occasion this season?

NG: “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.”

We’ve noticed some interesting behavior from some of the designers this season. How much does their attitude, particularly their poor attitude, play into deciding who goes home?

NG: “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.”

There’s been so many promos hinting that something huge is coming up. When are we going to get this, tonight, next week?

NG: “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.”

You can catch Project Runway on Lifetime, Thursdays at 9/8 central.

Filed under: Celebrity Interview,Exclusives,Nina Garcia

Photo credit: Pacific Coast News

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