EXCLUSIVE: Nina Garcia Wants Jennifer Lopez on 'Project Runway'

The new season of Project Runway premieres tonight at 9PM/8C on Lifetime and the show's Colombian judge Nina Garcia spoke exclusively to Latina.com about what we can expect to see on the new season, how season nine will be different from past seasons, and why Jennifer Lopez is the Latina celebrity she'd most like to have on the show as a guest judge!

Tell us about the new season of Project Runway!

Well, the new season is very exciting because tonight, for the first time ever, you'll get to see the original casting process, which has never been done before. Michael {Kors} Heidi {Klum} and I, have never been involved in the last minute casting, so that's something new. It's something that I think is going to work really well for the show because I feel that we're more connected to the designers. We had a lot more background on the designers this season. In the past, we used to just see their portfolios and kind of judge them from there. This time around we get to hear where they're from and what they've been doing, so we have a little more insight into the designers themselves. 

Is there a strong talent pool this year?

 I say this every year, but I really think the talent gets better every season. This season, there are more serious designers and less cat fights and drama—it's more about the clothes. There's a lot of good design this season. 

Are their any talented Latino contestants on the new season?

There is one {girl} who's Latin, yes. There have been a lot of Latins in the past, but this season we've only had one. 

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Last season, you had a super talented Latino on the show with Mondo Guerra!

There's only one Mondo Guerra {Laughs}. I love him! Sometimes I get asked {about him losing last year}, but Mondo is doing brilliantly and you'll get to see more of Mondo, trust me. He's got a lot cooking!

Who are some of your celeb guest judges this season?

Kim Kardashian, Christina Ricci—I think that's all I can say. But here's what I will say about this season's judges—there are a lot of beautiful women judges! It was very intimidating actually because every time I sat on that judge's chair, another gorgeous woman would be next to me and I'd be like "oh, no! I want to sit very far away!" {Laughs}.

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If you could have any Latina celebrity as a guest judge on Project Runway, who would you want on the show?

Who do you think?

Jennifer Lopez?

Of course. 

Why would J.Lo be good for Project Runway?

I just think that she's got great fashion sense. I admire her as a Latina and I think she has done a lot for the Latina community. She's embraced her roots, she is so confident about her body, about her background, and she's got such a wonderful sense of style and it's authentic. It's not some stylist putting her together—it's really her. I think she really epitomizes the Latin woman who is sexy and strong and confident.