‘Project Runway’ Judge Nina Garcia Is New ‘Elle’ Editor-In-Chief! Could Magazine Soon Embrace Plus-Size Trend?

Project Runway judge Nina Garcia has moved on from her position as creative drector at Marie Claire, and is now the new Elle editor-in-chief!

What are some of the special skills that Nina holds that made her the clear choice for this prestigious position? And could Elle now embrace plus-size models, just as Project Runway has?

Joanna Coles, Hearst Magazines chief content officer, announced that Nina Garcia is the new Editor-in-Chief of Elle, and will be starting her position on September 18. Not only will Garcia be heading American Elle, but she will be overseeing the 46 other global Elle editions! Nina’s first issue should early next year, between February or March.

Coles, who happened to be the Project Runway All Stars Season 1 mentor, believes that Nina Garcia embodies the millennial spirit of the Elle woman. This is more than being fashion forward. This is a woman that is happy with her work, up-to-date with modern technology and social media, and who embraces a global world view.

“Look at the issue of empowerment around young working women and the obsession with fashion and beauty. The Elle woman is sexy, passionate, loves her work, is social. She’s someone global millennial women aspire to, and no one represents that more than Nina.”

For anyone who scoffs at the value of social media, they may want to think again! Nina, the author of four books on fashion, is one of social media’s major fashion influencers. She has over 4.5 million followers on her social media channels, particularly Twitter and Instagram.

Both Coles and Garcia came up the fashion journalism ranks when clothing was only viewed on runways by fellow journalists, and the magazines chose what was going to be the big looks of the season.

Now, there are fashion bloggers reporting on social media from NYFW–that is, when fashion designers decide to go that old style route–and Instagram models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, are changing who is on the cover of magazines and which models walk the catwalk.

Clearly a trendsetter, in 2010, Nina Garcia spoke to the New York Times about the changing job description of being a fashion editor.

“The fashion editor as it used to be has changed. Now you have to wear many hats, and whoever tells you differently is wrong. Now you’re on TV, whether you want it or not.”

For many, Nina Garcia is known for her work on Project Runway, as a judge. On the show since the inaugural season, Nina has always been the critical voice of what is fashion forward. Her standards are the highest, and pleasing her is the ultimate goal for the designers.

Her exposure on the Lifetime Television show has made her the leading fashion guru. Her critical eye, her brutal honesty and her willingness to embrace new trends or ideas has made her the most well-known fashion expert around the world.

On Project Runway getting Nina’s approval is what all designers want. Nina not only looks at the actual garment design, but also fabric choice and especially color. No designer wants a critique from Nina describing a garment, or styling as looking “madam” or “old.”

In addition, Nina has always judged more favorable towards designers with creative ideas, instead of a designer that lacks taste or ideas.

As every Elle reader knows, styling is key to look fabulous, and Nina has a discerning eye for every detail, from eyeliner to “matchy-matchy” accessories.

Nina Garcia is clearly excited about her new position. She originally worked for Elle as fashion director between 2000-2008.

Elle is close to my heart, and this is a very special homecoming. This is Elle’s moment to be out in front, inspiring and informing readers in every area. Fashion and beauty are at Elle’s core, as are culture, politics, health and new media. I’m excited to work with this incredibly talented team to set the pace for women who are moving as fast as the times we live in.”

According to the New York Times, Garcia promises to continue Elle’s tradition of “celebrating diversity.” Could this also include the same sort of diversity that Project Runway is embracing this season? The popular designer reality show has models up to size 22 rotating with the designers. This means that every designer will need to create a garment for a model that is not the usual size 2.

As for Project Runway, Nina Garcia will continue on as a judge. At this time, there are only two more seasons left on the show. It could be interesting if Nina will introduce an Elle challenge for the final two seasons of the fashion reality show.

Born in Columbia, and now a New York transplant, Nina Garcia is also a great immigrant story. She has shown that her hard work has paid off, and is an inspiration to everyone who has a fashion dream.

Are you excited about Nina Garcia’s new job at Elle? Do you think that she is changing the role of fashion editor with her television appearances and social media? Please share your opinions below.

[Featured Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]