Karen Walker

Designer. New York

We know you know the name—after all, the designer's eponymous, oversized sunglasses perched on the top of virtually everyone's head pretty much gave it away. When we met the New Zealand-native designer and her husband (who also doubles as a business partner) at The Ace during NYFW, we were immediately struck by how (for lack of a better words) innately and effortlessly cool Karen Walker is. From her artfully tousled pixie cut to her no-makeup-makeup to the circular, slightly reflective sunnies shading her eyes from the September sun, we were instantly overcome a serious case of 'can-we-just-be-you?' syndrome.

While we styled around the duo's hotel suite, Jake chatted with Walker about art and design and we talked with her husband re: the rapidly evolving landscape of fashion and its relationship to the digital world; they know what's up, trust. Oh, and we may have (briefly) engaged in a game of dress-up with Walker’s treasure trove of signature sunnies. But can you really blame us? After all, ever since Walker's now widely-adored Ari Seth Cohen-lensed lookbook, (starring Linda Rodin, among others) the entire fashion world has virtually been smitten with her designs. While showing us her then-latest lookbook, starring a gang of tiny tots and tykes, Walker told us about her own brood; showing off snaps of her darling daughter.

After raiding the range of Aesop lotions and Butter London polishes she'd brought along for her stay, the designer filled us in on her next move(s). Oh, did we not mention that the KW empire is rapidly-expanding? (F.Y.I. We can totally hear you shrieking with excitement through your MacBook.) From bags to shoes and jewelry, Walker's going big with her brand. Not bad for someone who started their line at 18 with just $100, right? Walker left us with her favorite (sound) nugget of advice. It's simple: "Don't sweat the small stuff."


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