I certainly never thought I would ever receive a call on my cell from a five-time Olympic medalist. But, last week? I did! Nastia Liukin (sweetheart!) rang me up on a Friday afternoon to discuss her latest fashion projects. She only turns 20 years old this year and has so much going for her right now - it's amazing! Needless to say, I was honored to have a moment of her time.
Nastia's new fashion campaign with Max Azria (yes, of BCBG fame!) just launched - and it began all because of NY Fashion Week. Nastia was invited to sit front row and then to dinner with the designer himself and few weeks later - voila! You can catch the photos (like this one here!) in publications everywhere this month as well as Maxazria.com and even on a billboard in sunny L.A. "I'm so honored and excited," she says.
Of course, she's still the face of Vanilla Star jeans and even has her own clothing line of cute and funky tees called "Nastia Gold." Vanilla Star has always been a sponsor, but she says she didn't have the time to start the line until after the Olympics ended (oh, imagine that!). And it's not like she has the time now either...
I asked her if she ever just has a moment to take a nap. Her response? "Not right now," she laughs. "Everything is so busy, but hopefully it will slow down." In the meantime, what's Nastia been wearing herself? Well, besides when she's not working hard in her sweats (chic sweats, no less! and we just loved her pink leotard at the Olympics!), she's out and about sporting jeans, heels and a cute top - casual chic. She also tells me she's completely obsessed with scarves and accessories (we don't blame her!).
And what's a gymnast keep in her make-up bag? Why, Cover Girl, of course! "[They're a sponsor], so I'm lucky to get to test everything - it's always exciting," she says.
And in her "non-fashion" world, Nastia's keeping busy training for the national championships in August and has taken a hiatus from college at SMU at the moment to focus at the gym. "With full-time training, it was hard to work into my schedule," she admits. "There is always time for school, but not the gym," she adds. "I want to keep training as long as I can, and then maybe afterward go back."
P.S. I did ask her if she still keeps in touch with Shawn Johnson (now on Dancing with the Stars), and she says, "Yes, we do. We've both been so busy - she's in L.A. and I'm just here this weekend." As for her decision not to do Dancing, she says it just wasn't the right time, but she doesn't regret her decision. So don't rule her out for the future just yet - I asked if she might do it another season if the time was right. "Yeah, maybe," she says. Dancing, are you listening? We would love to see Nastia rock those cute costumes!