Though Nina Garcia serves as editor at large at Elle through season five of “Project Runway,” it seems she’s already getting a head start on her fashion director duties at Marie Claire. Her new gig officially begins Sept. 2, but sources close to the magazine say Garcia has already moved into her office, the former digs of Tracy Taylor, who was dismissed in May to make way for Garcia. The “Project Runway” judge also is said to be conducting “run-throughs” for fashion shoots for the January issue. Sources said Garcia’s requests for high-end designer wares to be featured in fashion spreads can at times be at odds with Marie Claire’s more mass-market sensibilities.

A spokeswoman for Marie Claire said, “Nina is on contract with Elle that prohibits her from working for Marie Claire before Sept. 1. She has been in the office only to work out her travel schedule for the European fashion shows this fall.”

Garcia’s move to Marie Claire happened before the “Project Runway” judge finalized her contract to appear on the show’s sixth edition, which will air on Lifetime instead of Bravo. On Friday, a Weinstein Co. spokeswoman confirmed Garcia has re-upped, meaning all of the principals — herself, Michael Kors, Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum — will move to Lifetime with the reality program. Does that mean Marie Claire has been confirmed as the official magazine partner? Sources close to the show say the deal has been done, but the Weinstein spokeswoman declined to confirm Friday.

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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