Nina Garcia will stay at Elle to be on Project Runway 5

Despite essentially being let go from Elle magazine, Nina Garcia will stay at the magazine and appear on Project Runway 5.

However, that sentence could be written “…stay at the magazine to appear…,” because Elle basically created a job for her so she can stay through the end of the show, at which point she’ll start her new job at Marie Claire. Her future on the show’s sixth, Lifetime-hosted season is uncertain, as she and Michael Kors are both still in negotiations.

In a press release, the magazine announced “that ELLE has entered a new agreement with Nina Garcia who has been named Editor-at-Large through September 1, 2008. Ms. Garcia will remain as the magazine’s representative judge on ‘Project Runway’ through the show’s fifth season. Ms. Garcia, who has spent 13 years at ELLE, has been Fashion Director for the past 8 years.” The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Roberta Myers, said, “Nina is admired by a large television audience on ‘Project Runway’ who tune in to see Nina and her fellow judges decide who’s in and who’s out. She’s made a real contribution to the program’s success as a top show.”

In other words, her only value to the magazine is as someone who can draw viewers who will watch Heidi Klum say “editor-at-large at Elle magazine” every week, thereby giving Elle what they paid for.

Nina Garcia Named Editor-at-Large for ELLE Magazine [Elle press release]