Karen Walker is the designer behind her eponymous brand best known for collections that are original, unpretentious and always optimistic. The label shows each season as part of New York Fashion Week.
Karen Walker collections are high casual, elevated with a signature love of print and colour. The reoccurring theme is juxtaposition of opposites — masculine and feminine, tailored and street, luxury and non-luxury, dark and super-cute.
The label has been described by the U.K.’s Independent newspaper as being “The kind of look that provides a means of appearing cool but not trying-too-hard, cute but not saccharine, alternative but not self consciously so.”
In addition to the main women’s-wear collections there is also Karen Walker Jewellery, Karen Walker Eyewear, Karen Walker Home Ware, Karen Walker Paints and a series of collaborations including, Benah for Karen Walker handbags, Beau Coops for Karen Walker footwear and KW2 By Karen Walker, a children’s-wear collection with Uniqlo.
There is also a diffusion line, Hi There from Karen Walker, available exclusively in the United States through Anthropologie and in Australia through Myer.
In 2013 Karen Walker partnered with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative to create work for community groups of artisans in Kenya. Find out more about the campaign here.
Karen Walker was included in The Business of Fashion’s BoF500 as one of the 500 people and 112 designers who are shaping the global fashion industry in 2014 and 2013. Phaidon have included Karen Walker in their recent book ‘Sample’ which curates the 100 most influential designers to emerge in the last 6 years. Taschen have also included Karen Walker in their book ‘Fashion Now 2’, which highlights the world’s most important 160 designers as selected by i-D magazine.
Karen Walker product is available in over 30 countries, and 200 cities worldwide. The collections can be found in specialty shops, department stores and leading online boutiques. There are also five Karen Walker stores in New Zealand.
Karen Walker is part of the group behind The Department Store in Auckland, New Zealand. The Department Store is a modern take on the traditional department store that includes a Karen Walker boutique alongside the country’s best fashion, beauty, lifestyle and food.
Karen Walker has garnered a fan base of stylish women including Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch and Rihanna.
Karen lives in New Zealand with her husband Mikhail and her daughter Valentina.