Nina is wearing: Boots and Pants – Givenchy, top – Kenzo
It’s really not that hard to get tech inspired when you are a blogger. Technology has made it’s way into our daily blogging lives These days it’s easier to meet a stylish 20 something girl who knows all about widgets, plug-ins and writing codes, because she is a blogger, and she had to figure it all out.
But it’s so much easier to get inspired when you meet someone like Nina Garcia, who not only knows a lot about fashion and style, but about technology, and social media as well.
The new Verizon store at the Mall of America offers many experiences and opportunities. Last Saturday I was able to spend a couple hours there touring the store, and meeting Nina Garcia. Having read her book and seen her on countless episodes of Project Runway, I was extremely excited for the event. Plus it was the Verizon store, having been a part of their Style Voices Program for 6 months and actually being on Verizon, I knew I couldn’t say no.
The new store located on the second level of the Mall of America (E 264) offers a new experience to the customers. With 6 different lifestyle zones (from fit to business), it helps customers engage and take their experience to the next level.
And even though I consider myself to be tech savvy, the number one reason why I made the trip to MOA on a Saturday (when everyone who lives in the Twin Cities knows it’s a parking suicide), was to get to talk to Nina and ask her a couple of questions about fashion, apps, technology and everything in between.
What are some of your favorite apps?
I got a lot. I mean in terms of fashion one of my favorite apps is Lyst. I can look and I can find everything that I want. And it also gives me a lot of ideas. So I am obsessed with Lyst.
In terms of transportation I use Uber a lot. In New York it’s amazing. If I can’t find a taxi I always have my Uber.
Moda Operandi if I want to shop before everyone else. I also think they have things early in the season so you can reserve them and then buy, that way you can have them before everybody else.
I have Trendabl. I like The Cut. I like Shazam, when I am at the shows and I hear a song and I can’t figure it out – it’s great!
And then I have a whole kids section of apps that I use.
And WhatsApp I use a lot to communicate with my friends, especially because I have a lot of friends in South America. I’ve got a lot, I need to delete some!
Do you find it hard to stay up to date with technology and social media?
When I travel I get to spend a lot of time looking and surfing and finding new things that I can use. I used to be overwhelmed, I used to be like “Oh my God, I need to jump on that now! How come I did not know that?” But with social media being so inclusive, sooner or later it kind of weeds out what doesn’t work. So now I don’t panic anymore. If I don’t know it, I will know it eventually, because everybody else will be talking about it. So I don’t stress out anymore, but I used to. That’s what I love about social media, everybody communicates, everybody shares.
Do you run your own Pinterest, Twitter and other social media channels?
I do most of it myself, my assistant who is very close to me, helps.
What advice do you have for emerging designers?
You know, it’s really finding your own voice. Finding what is unique to you. I find it that a lot of young designers today try to emulate other designers, and that is not working anymore. As you know fashion is moving very fast. We need a generation of designers that are creative, that have guts, because it takes courage to be unique, to be different, and to be yourself, without trying to be anybody else. Finding your own voice, and it doesn’t matter whether some people like it or not, it’s YOUR own voice.
But there is a marriage of art and commerce. Yes, you want to have art, but at the same time it’s got to sell. But I think that most important is really understanding what kind of designer you want to be, what is that message, what is your look. And it takes time. It doesn’t happen instantly. I think it’s a question of maturity, it’s a question of working and gaining experience. Finding your own voice is like growing up. At 15 or 16 you are a certain way, at 20 you are another way. So it’s the same way a designer matures. You start here, and in 5-10 years you are there, but it’s keeping consistency that’s a must.
How do you unwind? What is the typical me-time for you?
When all the kids are asleep, I can de-stress. I love my work, and I love coming home, because I am with my kids, and I spend my mornings with my kids. Maybe my social life suffers a little bit, but I do need some down time. When we put our kids to bed, then it’s the time I have with my husband, and that’s the time when I can relax. I can’t be out every night. I will read, I will surf the web, look at some Pinterest, I will look at some Twitter. You can lose yourself in that process, and it is very inspirational also, it doesn’t feel like I am working, it feels like I am feeding my imagination.
What are some of your favorite charitable organizations?
I have a few, Sloan-Kettering, which is a cancer organization, and is really close to my heart. It happened to me and my family, and I know it effects many people. And the other one is the Rita Hayworth Alzheimer’s foundation. Again it was something that was in my family.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this interview and were able to discover a lot of new apps to check our!
Have a great week!