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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
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Martin Is in Fashion

Plainview native Jill Martin is a fashion expert and a three-time Emmy nominated television personality but Fashion for Dummies (Wiley, 2009), written with Pierre Lehu, could expand considerably the number of women who know her. 

To promote the book, Martin will appear on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble, 91 Old Country Road, Carle Place, for a discussion and signing.

“The great thing about the Dummies books is that you don’t need to read them from beginning to end,” Martin explained. Women can wade through the 19 chapter, 300-plus page hardcover paperback and find quickly what they’re looking for, no matter their age. “It’s an evergreen book,” she added.

Wiley, her publisher, had an excellent synopsis of the tome, too: “Part reference, part tutorial, the book offers advice on finding clothes that work with your body type and personal style, as well as practical tips on garment construction and navigating the worlds of color, pattern and texture.”

Martin said she met Lehu in early 2009 at NBC’s Today show, where Martin is a contributor. He was there with Dr. Ruth, with whom Lehu wrote Sex for Dummies.

Martin and Lehu collaborated along with stylist Dana Ravich for about nine months on the book, which was released last month and has since gained a sizable following among visitors to’s fashion and beauty section.

While fashion and literary endeavors may not have been on Martin’s radar during her University of Michigan days, a broadcasting career was. ‘My father asked me when I was in college, ‘What are you going to do for money?’ And I told him, ‘I’m going to be on TV,” Martin recalled.

Her experience as an intern at ABC’s Regis and Kathie Lee program was parlayed after graduation into a sports reporting and anchoring position at a Miami TV station. Indeed, her first Emmy nomination came about because of a piece Martin did with All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau after his trade to the Miami Dolphins. Her two other Emmy nominations were bestowed this year for features on the Garden of Dreams Foundation. Both stories aired on the Madison Square Garden (MSG) Network.

Martin joined MSG in 2007, where she conducts pre- and post-game player interviews at Knicks basketball games. Her signature segment, Gimme a Minute, features Martin’s lively 60-second exchanges during half-time broadcasts on MSG with a celebrity who is attending that day’s Knicks home game. Right before Christmas, for instance, actor Hugh Jackman spoke with Martin while at courtside during a Knicks-Chicago Bulls contest.

When she’s not writing about fashion, or reporting from a Knicks game, Martin also serves as an on-air correspondent for a number of nationally syndicated entertainment TV programs, including Extra, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider.  Her appearances come about through her role as a US Weekly magazine contributor.

I did ask Martin whether a Fashion for Dummies for men was in the works.  She said the issue was discussed among her MSG colleagues, and one potential author’s name came immediately to mind:  the dapper Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier, a legendary Knicks player who is today an MSG analyst.   If his personal style is any indication, Frazier would insist that men stock up on clothing that is unique to say the least.

Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism.

Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: