Karen Walker is the designer behind her eponymous label best known for its signature optimism, energy and chic-meets-eccentric handwriting.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Karen launched her label at the age of 18 whilst at fashion college. She started with $100 which she used to make shirts for a friend in a band. 32 years later she’s garnered a cult international following for her collections that include womenswear, eyewear, jewellery, fragrances and paints, available in over 40 countries and 1000 stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and MatchesFashion.com.
Always worn by the ‘most interesting person in the room’, Karen’s designs cleverly play with cultural subtext, juxtaposing luxe and street, masculine and feminine, folk and utility, creating pieces that are both directional and wearable: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Priyanka Chopra, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Michelle Obama, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Cardi B and Lady Gaga have all been seen in her designs recently. Collaborations with other brands are also at the heart of Karen Walker and highlights include collections with Disney, Sephora, Uniqlo, Madewell and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
Karen’s influence has seen her consistently ranked for the past seven years in The Business of Fashion’s powerhouse BoF 500, reflecting her position as a global industry figure shaping the future.
Karen lives in Auckland with her husband and 12-year-old daughter. She is also an ambassador for SPCA NZ and Breast Cancer Cure.