Eila is one of the book industry’s "go-to" fashion authors. She recently worked with Heidi Klum and Harvey Weinstein on the official book of the hit TV series Project Runway. She also wrote the book New York Fashion Week: The Designers, the Models, the Fashions of the Bryant Park Era.

Video by Geoffrey Jones

Interview with Miss J.

Your already know J. Alexander from America’s Next Top Model.

Eila Mell caught up with Miss J. backstage at Michael Costello during New York Fashion Week for a little one-on-one.

Q: How are you?

 
I’m fine, a little bit cold but fine but I’m real snuggled up in my little GAS jeans.

Q: Looking great. So J., I don’t know if people know you really have taught so many of the most famous models how to walk.

Yeah, it all started back in the … (ahem)

Q: Right, yeah, we don’t want to say years.

It’s [not important] when it started … I just ended up with this really great TV career with America’s Next Top Model.

Q: Yes, everybody knows J. from that.

 
And I was strict, but — I always thought — a bit polite and nice to the girls. I was firm, very, very firm. And fashion has been a part of my life since birth.

Fashion has been a part of my life since birth.

I mean I think just creating things to be a part of a fashion movement over the years has been a great opportunity. It’s opened up my eyes a lot more than I thought, than I could imagine.

Even though I went to school to be an accountant when I’d been in Bronx.

Q: What?

 
Yeah, I went to school to be an accountant when I’d been in Bronx. I just took science to fashion.

I went to school to be an accountant. I just took science to fashion.

Q: What was the first show you ever went to?

 
The first show I went to was Geoffrey Beene.

Q: Did you sneak in or did you have an invite?

I snuck in. You know, it’s really funny, I snuck in to shows for about the first 20+ years and I’ve been living in Paris.

Q: One last question, who do you think has the best walk right now?

Anyone who can maneuver this ice and slush today has the best walk.

Q: Oh, then that could be me.

 
This is my first Michael Costello show actually.

Q: Oh, you’re going to love it. I saw the collection, it’s great.

I met his uncle once in a cafe once in L.A. Strange.

Q: That is funny.

 
He’s had great success, I’m really happy for him but it’s great to be supportive of people who went through emotion and have been doing pretty, pretty well. I’m happy for him.

Q: And you know, he is self-taught.

 
I love him even more, because so am I. Wow.

Q: Great talking to you. Thank you.

 
Michael, I didn’t know that. Wow. Bravo. Same thing here. Number seven of ten children, I’d recreate clothes when I would get the hand-me-downs.

I’d recreate clothes when I would get the hand-me-downs.

Q: And you would rework them for yourself.

 
Back to this jacket here, the sleeves are too short and I hated them short, so I just added this on.

Thanks Andrew Morrison for letting me go to his showroom in a work room and grabbing a half yard of ribon and sewing it up and then attaching it to the lining, and here it is.

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@Miss_JAlexander

With love,

FWO

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