Nina Garcia, the erstwhile Project Runway judge and former Elle fashion director, is truly a force of nature. We told you last week that during her final months at Elle, Garcia was getting paid a hefty fee for making public appearances for Anne Klein. But a source tells us that the Anne Klein endorsement, an angry publisher, and Garcia's own strange sense of ethics helped get her booted from Elle in the first place!
According to a tipster, Elle publisher Carol Smith signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Anne Klein to have Garcia-then an Elle staffer-do in-store appearance and promotions on behalf of the fashion brand. But Garcia refused to wear Anne Klein clothes at the appearances, because she believed it would be a "conflict of interest." This put the huge endorsement deal in jeopardy, we hear, and everyone from Elle's editor-in-chief to former Hachette boss Jack Kliger was putting pressure on Garcia to give in and wear the damn clothes to keep the customer happy.
But Garcia was stubborn! By the time her final mandatory appearance for Anne Klein rolled around, says the source, the publisher actually drove to Garcia's home and waited for her to make sure she wore an appropriately Klein-ish outfit. The entire ordeal was so outlandish that the whole staff was gossiping about it. Shortly after the endorsement deal wrapped up, Nina Garcia was fired-after Elle had made its money. Or so we hear.
In an odd way, we respect her crazily firm editorial commitment to picking her own clothes NO MATTER WHAT.