Nina Garcia Wishes Crocs Were Never Invented

Last night, Project Runway judge, current Elle editor-at-large, and soon-to-be Marie Claire fashion director Nina Garcia had a “discussion and book signing” at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York. The audience was a mixed bag: at least 15 men, a few tween PR fans, a couple fashion risk-takers (the girl to my right had on a very Carrie Bradshaw pink tulle flower headband), and a number of middle-aged ladies who wore their un-highlighted hair pulled back in ponytails. Nina was wearing a black dress designed by none other than friend and fellow PR judge Michael Kors.

Now, Nina seems to have been a writing machine over last couple years, because her first book, The Little Black Book of Style came out just over a year ago, in September. Her new one, The One Hundred, includes illustrations by Ruben Toledo, though, so there’s not that much text, at least from what I could tell when I sneaked peeks at my fellow audience members’ copies.The book shares what she believes are the 100 items “every stylish woman must own,” according to its tagline, but Nina admitted that (gasp) she doesn’t even own them all! Basically, they’re just classic items to keep in mind. Items like a motorcycle jacket, red lipstick, and, randomly, a zippered hoodie. (Can you imagine Nina wearing a hoodie?)

Nina was charming even though she clearly thought some of the audience members’ questions were ridiculous — someone actually asked what she thought of “commuter shoes.” “I’m not even going to answer that,” Nina laughed, before going on to say that maybe ballet flats would be okay, but definitely not sneakers.

Among the women she thinks of as fashion icons are Catherine Deneuve and Jennifer Lopez. “Jennifer Lopez is not a size 2 but loves fashion and knows how to dress her body.” You mean her booty, Nina?

As for how her own style has changed, Nina said that since becoming a mother, “flats have become more of a reality, but I have tried to push that stroller in high heels.” But even with a young child, there’s one pair of shoes she won’t be putting on her feet: Crocs. “For women older than 12, forget about them. They’re awful.”