Nina Garcia Talks Style, Schedules and JCPenney

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Nina Garcia Talks Style, Schedules and JCPenney
With JCPenney’s recent image overhaul—new stores within stores, renovations, and pricing structures abound—comes a new perspective for the retail giant’s fashion side. With her tweet sending the JCPenney stock up 5% in a day, it looks like Nina Garcia was a pretty good choice for JCP.

Modamob got to chat with the Style Director of Marie Claire, former Project Runway judge and resident JCPenney Style Voice about her crazy schedule, new job, and what’s going to be trending this fall (if anyone knows, it’s Nina!).

Modamob: You have so much going on, how do you balance it all?
Nina Garcia: Time management is key to balancing it all. It helps that I have such a supportive family and strong professional team. Without the two in my corner it would be hard. My family and work are a priority. Sadly, my social life suffers but I enjoy everything I am doing in my life at the moment.

MM: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest – which social network do you enjoy connecting the most with your fans?
NG: I enjoy all of them, each network has its own unique way of connecting me to my fans and that is what is important to me. Social media is part of our daily lives; it is second nature to me now. It allows me to connect directly with my audience on a personal level and really communicate and respond. While I cannot share all of the exciting social media initiatives we have in the works for jcpenney just yet, please follow @jcpenney, @ninagarcia and check the jcpenney Facebook page to ensure you don't miss out!

MM: Can you share with us memorable moments inside the JCPenney store?
NG: One of my favorite elements in stores now is the denim bar featuring Levi’s, Arizona Jean Co and I Jeans by Buffalo. The iPads in store help shoppers navigate through all the various styles to choose a pair perfectly matched for their body & personality. Just in time for fall and back to school shopping! I am also very excited about the new ways JCP is improving and changing the retail experience. It is all about service and convenience for the shopper. Shopping will never be the same.

MM: Can you tell us a little about what JCPenney fans and your fans can expect from forthcoming apparel collections?
NG: I recently was checking out the upcoming holiday collection and there are some great finds from current brand partners such as I Heart Ronson, Olsenboye (Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen) and nicole by Nicole Miller. I am most excited for the fall holiday pieces I saw at the presentation. Some of my favorites were the down faux fur jacket from the Olsenboye (Mary-Kate and Ashley) and the white tuxedo pantsuit by Worthington.

MM: For those who are scared to try new trends what advice can you give them?
NG: Not every trend is going to work for everyone. Pick that one strong statement and pair it with something that makes you comfortable and you already own. Play with accessories a shoe, or a belt is very easy ways to update your wardrobe and be on trend.

MM: Let's talk fashion; have any prior contestants on Project Runway inspired you?
NG: I have met many talented designers that inspire me all the time Gretchen Jones, Anya Ayoung-Chee, Christian Siriano, and Mondo Guerra all have creative work ethics and determination that is inspiring

MM: You've worked with so many great people, is there anyone you still have on your radar?
NG: All of the above designers.

MM: What's a current trend we can finally retire?
NG: Aggressive, studded platforms shoes.The heels are now more feminine and refined.

MM: What's on-trend and what should we be wearing this Fall?
NG: Embellishments, jeweled embroidery, brocade, and needlepoint.

MM: What qualities do you believe a celebrity must have to be a designer?
NG: They must have a genuine passion and curiosity for the business they are in. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are a great example. If they don’t display this quality it will not ring authentic. The most successful celebrity designers have that passion, curiosity and clear point of view.
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