Project Runway All Stars starts on January 4 on Lifetime with a new mentor, Anne Fulenwider. Longtime fans of the Project Runway franchise have seen the Marie Claire editor-in-chief as a guest judge on several occasions. She is known for her critical eye and not holding back her opinions.
Entertainment Weekly previewed the new All Stars mentor meeting the designers for the first time.
After she walked into the workroom, Anne made it clear to that she is only there to make them better, and it sounds like they will be getting some tough love!
“Hi! I’m Anne Fulenwider. I’m the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire and I am your mentor this season. I’m not here to be your friend. I’m here to push you to be the best that you can possibly be.”
Anne Fulenwider is later shown walking up to “veteran” All Stars designer Ken Lawrence by bluntly telling him “I was pretty hard on you in your finale,” which made the normally tough talking Ken nervously laugh.
Later in the confessional, Ken admits that she isn’t going to be “any nicer” than she was when they last met, but he will take her advice because she is an editor of a fashion magazine.
All designers know that Anne Fulenwider is considered to be one of the top five fashion influencers in the world, but what do we know about her?
Anne Didn’t Start In Fashion
Fulenwider impressively graduated from Harvard, Magna Cum Laude, with B.A, in English and American Literature. Her first job in publishing was George Plimpton’s assistant at the Paris Review, because she loved a really good story.
The Huffington Post revealed that her first position was hardly glamorous, but she learned a lot. She did everything from answer phones, to “order the booze for his parties.” She then worked as an editor at Vanity Fair before she jumped into the world of fashion publications.
She Loves “Bossing People Around”
Anne had previously worked for two infamous editors: Graydon Carter at Vanity Fair, as well as for former All Stars mentor Joanna Coles, learning the ropes to prepare for her own foray into being an editor-in-chief.
She describes Carter as very “autocratic” while Coles, very democratic, yet considers herself as being “somewhere in between”–although her husband likes to say that she loves to boss other people around.
Anne Likes To Focus On Women’s Empowerment
The new All Stars mentor really believes as an editor-in-chief she can change the world, as she told Fashionista. She believes in “fashion with a conscience.”
“Being the editor of Marie Claire is the best job in the world. There’s something about it that’s really zeitgeist-y now, although [Marie Claire] always had this women’s empowerment and cause-related spine to it. But I feel like the “change the world” attitude is universal, so there’s something really fun about being at a brand that’s so on-message for its time.”
In 2016, Fulenwider tallied off her busy schedule to The Cut which includes three lunches out with colleagues, and three evening events, in addition to the flurry of work as editor-in-chief of one of the world’s biggest fashion magazines. Yet, she takes time out to do that little bit extra that adds a personal touch to her work relationships.
Every Friday morning she spends two to three hours with her administrative assistant. The two answer all of her non-urgent emails, RSVPs, send out birthday flowers, thank you notes and any other correspondence that has been coded specifically for Fridays.
Called Admin Fridays, this was a tip created by an executive friend in the publishing industry, who like Anne, is a busy working mom.
Previously, Anne was kept up at night worrying that she did not send a designer thank you flowers, or signed up her son for karate. Now, Anne swears that this has dramatically changed her life, and presumably, allows her to get her sleep.