Karen Walker (designer)

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Karen Walker flagship Britomart store in the Auckland CBD

Karen Walker, CNZM, is a noted New Zealand fashion designer. She left school, after attending Epsom Girls Grammar School in 1988 to begin her fashion training, graduating in 1990. She has said that she started with NZ$100, which she used for material for a shirt. By 1995, she had opened two stores. In 1998, she began selling to Barneys New York.

She showed her first runway collection in 1998 and is regarded as one of New Zealand's highest profile and most international design talents. She has five stores in New Zealand, four of which are in Auckland and one in Wellington but her brands are sold all over the world.

Walker is married to Mikhail Gherman, a well known advertising creative director and creative director of the Karen Walker brand. They live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Her fashion collections are considered to be effortless and original and include names such as "Young, Willing and Eager", "Karen to the Rescue", "Victory Garden", "Queenie Was a Dog", "Karen in TV Land", "Liberal and Miserable", "Dough and Dynamite" and "Living with Cannibals and Other Adventures". Her Hi There range is a more cheaply priced line.

Her clothes have been seen on many celebrities including Lady Gaga, Björk, Sienna Miller, Natalie Portman, M.I.A., Alexa Chung, Beth Ditto, Michael Haneke, Liv Tyler, Rihanna, Claire Danes, Zooey Deschanel and Jennifer Lopez.[1][2] Four pieces from one of Karen's original collections "Dust" appeared on Kate Winslet in the Michel Gondry film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.[2] Theodora Richards has also modelled in Karen Walker runway shows and posed in the March 2005 issue of Evening Standard UK magazine in Karen Walker outfits. Tyra Banks wore Walker's 'Mary-Jane' dress on her talk show.[3]

In 2009 Walker received a World Class New Zealand Award [4] in the Creative category.

In addition to the main women's wear collections, Karen Walker has expanded her designs to include sunglasses, jewellery, shoes and a range of paints for Resene. Karen Walker signed a partnership late 2011 with United States-based retail chain Anthropologie that will put "Hi There" clothing range into up to 164 stores in the United States from February 2012. [5]


  1. ^ "As Worn By". Karen Walker. 
  2. ^ a b "Kelly Osbourne Wows MTV Wearing Karen Walker". Scoop. 5 June 2003. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "TYRA BANKS - Karen Walker". 10 February 2010. 
  4. ^ World Class New Zealand 2009 Winners
  5. ^ "Karen Walker hits the US, put homewares into Myer". Fashion Source (Melbourne). 19 January 2012. 

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