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Thursday, April 3rd 2014

Talking Sunglasses with Karen Walker

One of New Zealand’s most influential talents, fashion designer Karen Walker is known for her high casual collections and juxtaposition of contrasting elements. Her sunglasses give off a self-assured air—both feminine and masculine, sophisticated and eclectic, soft and fierce. We talked to Walker about sunglasses and the concept behind her latest collection. 

Shopbop: Your pieces have a huge cult following. What is it about your designs and creative outlook that inspires such fierce loyalty?
Karen Walker: Our customers know that we don't compromise, and that each season we deliver a very unique point of view.

SB: Do you have any tips for picking out the perfect pair of sunglasses online?
KW: Karen Walker customers like to experiment and try out new ideas. Every new style we put out is like a new adventure, and the thing that our customers have in common is a great sense of imagination and individual style. I think that trusting in your imagination is a great way to shop online.

Alternative Karen Walker sunglasses.

SB: The concept and partnership behind your latest collection, Karen Walker Visible, is very cool. Can you give more details?
KW: We’re working with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative to create work in community groups of micro-artisans located in the urban and rural areas of Kenya. Every pair of eyewear from the new collection comes with a wearable pouch made by the Kenyan artisans, and to give a glimpse into the world that the work is coming from, some of the artisans themselves are this season’s campaign stars. 

SB: You’ve been a designer since you were 18. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
KW: Do it if it feels right.

Shop Karen Walker sunglasses.

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