'Project Runway' Guest Judge Anne Fulenwider Proves That Smart & Stylish Women Can Rule the World
While hers may not be an everyday household name, Editor in chief of Marie Claire Anne Fulenwider is big in the fashion world. And as such, she's nabbed a guest judge seat on Thursday's Project Runway . Joining regular judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Zac Posen (and other guest judge Amanda de Cadenet), Fulenwider will give her editorial perspective to the fashion designers attempting to make it work.
Fulenwider's involvement on the show makes sense as it's the 20th anniversary of Marie Claire this week and the winner of Project Runway gets a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine (along with the bizarre opportunity to design a fashion accessory for all Red Robin servers — yes, that Red Robin). Fulenwider's opinion of the designers really matters. Plus, long-term judge Garcia is also part of the Marie Claire family as the mag's creative director.
But this isn't Fulenwider's first rodeo. She was a guest judge on Season 12, Episode 7 ("Shoes First!") alongside actress Kaley Cuoco. The designers got to go through the Marie Claire fashion closet filled with shoes where Fulenwider explained the challenge with mentor Tim Gunn. Gunn and Fulenwider gave the designers a fashion quiz and when they got an answer correct, they got to select a shoe that their models would wear and that the designers would would use as inspiration for their looks.
A smart, motivated, and successful woman, Fulenwider has the job that many women and girls vie for. As my college career counselor said, it's a "movie job" — the type of career that the leading ladies in romcoms in the 2000s had — working for a successful magazine in NYC. See the two greatest movies from that time period and genre, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and 13 Going on 30 (I can't resist you, Matty Flamhaff!) for examples. A Harvard grad (with a degree in English literature — swoon), Fulenwider lives the dream and seems to be in it for all of the right reasons as displayed by this amazing quote:
“What I really want is to live a wide-ranging, fascinating life that allows me to see the world and meet interesting people and maybe even affect a little bit of change in women's lives.”
Sing it, sister!
She's also been around the block with a bunch of notable magazines, including The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, and Brides. Previously an executive editor at Marie Claire, she was asked to return as editor in chief in 2012. Her reasoning for leaving Brides to return to her previous employer? Another quote that makes me think she rocks:
“ ... of all women's magazines, Marie Claire truly speaks to me — a woman who is passionate about fashion and beauty and also about her career, her world, and giving back.”
Along with actively broadening the scope of Marie Claire by hiring writer and activist Janet Mock, who is transgender (which I wish wasn't monumental, but it is), you know what else is cool about her? She gets to hang out with smart and stylish celebs like Mindy Kaling and Robin Wright.
Being editor in chief of a successful magazine can go to your head, but luckily, we don't have a Devil Wears Prada situation here. Fulenwider had fun on her last appearance on Project Runway with the fashion trivia quiz — something I cannot imagine Miranda Priestly ever being down to do.
And when she was asked in an interview to name three things she thinks men don't know about women, her response was:
"That we’re funny, we’re tougher than they think, and we like sex."
Keep the awesomeness coming, Fulenwider. And bring it to Project Runway.
Images: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime; Getty Images; jamhutcherflin/Tumblr