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Nina Garcia Answers Our Fab Questions, Part III

Nina is the gift that keeps on giving! The ELLE fashion director and Project Runway judge has been answering all of our burning questions and here are some more! I am finding these answers helpful in many aspects of fashion so I hope you are too.

Why do you think the fashion world is so whitewashed? What will it take for runways and editorials to become more diverse? Do you think it will ever happen?

I do hope that fashion more willingly will embrace diversity. Unfortunately, fashion is going through a phase where there is a particular type and model look that is being cast. Mr. Yves Saint Laurent had a wonderful eye for African American models and they would dominate his runway shows. At ELLE, we are consciencious of our readers and celebrate diversity in our pages-through ethnicity, age, and body type. We were the first magazine to have an African American on the cover — Alek Wek — and just recently shot Miss Universe, Rio Mory, who is from Japan. Fashion is cyclical and I am sure that like any phase, we will evolve from this too.

To read the rest,

What do you think of how fashion blogging has affected the fashion industry?

I think blogging has made the fashion industry much more accessible. From broadcasting fashion week shows live and insiders posting their thoughts and finds online has not only garnered more interest in fashion and helped answer many misconceptions but is also an excellent platform for new designers to gain exposure. Blogging is also instant gratification and the trend will put pressures on established designers to turn around new products faster than ever.

Is it smarter to attend college in New York if I want to work in this industry?

Yes I think attending college in New York is an excellent choice if you want to work in fashion. The city offers endless cultural options —from art exhibitions, theater and the basic interaction between urban dwellers. Just walking out on the street you are bombarded with diversity that is endlessly inspiring and stimulates creativity and that knowledge with help you succeed in the fashion industry.

What Project Runway designer's clothing would you be most likely to wear?

Laura Bennett, Daniel V. Emmet Mccartney, Kara Janx and all of the past winners.

I am handbag obsessed, if I could choose only one handbag for day and one for night, which would you choose?

For day I prefer a beautiful soft leather tote or shoulder bag. If you want a designer bag, my recommendation would be to invest in the Chanel 2.5. It is a worthy investment and a bag that you can wear forever. For evening, it is all about the clutch bag. If you want a classic bag, I would opt for Nancy Gonzalez clutch in an exotic skin.

Photo courtesy of Bravo

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Join The Conversation
ace ace 8 years
I can't believe Nina Garcia said that Alek Wek is African American, especially in an answer to a question regarding diversity... you'd think she could get it right.
bangleshmangle bangleshmangle 8 years
Wasn't it Donyale Luna on British Vogue? Haha! Whatevs.
theminx theminx 8 years
And I'm sure Nina said "Emmett McCARTHY." Fact checkers, anyone?
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Not to split hairs, but I believe Beverly Johnson was the first African-American to appear on the cover of a major American fashion magazine (Vogue, 197...4? I think?). Although I do love Alek Wek—she is a true beauty.
Neural Neural 8 years
I love Laura Bennett-- anyone know if she's got a collection or anything anywhere that we can check out online? Fab?
DoeADeer DoeADeer 8 years
I love Elle. :)
suzlk suzlk 8 years
I'm disappointed in her answer to the question regarding diversity. :(
mirawilliams mirawilliams 8 years
Glamour was the first fashion magazine to have a woman of colour on the cover. Not Elle.
nicachica nicachica 8 years
i don't agree with her answer about diversity. i think that when designers use "ethnic" models, it's more about exploring the "exotic" than treating them as "normal" models. these models then becomes props and not true models and it defeats the purpose of using them in your shows.
fashionferi fashionferi 8 years
Alek Wek is NOT African American, she's African (from Sudan and was discovered in London). Designers will use African models, but they rarely use African American models.
fashionhore fashionhore 8 years
I always here magazines screaming that they try to be diverse, but there is a certain point to which they cannot go for fear of losing too much revenue. I don't read Elle for various reasons, but I do know from the times I have skimmed through the pages that I saw no diversity, or very little at all. I guess I just don't see where Nina is coming from. BTW, much better picture of Nina Fab. Thank the lord!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I love her!
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