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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Interview With Designer Karen Kane

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Kane.  I love to hear about people who follow their passion to make a dream come true.  Read all about Karen's story...

Tell me how you started designing?  And for how long?

I grew up loving clothes, and I learned to sew when I was young so I always designed things I'd wear myself. When I graduated high school, I moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM. That's where I learned about pattern making and the fashion industry more broadly. After graduating from FIDM, I worked as a pattern maker for a few years, which is how I met my husband. We worked together, and after a couple years, we decided to start our own company. The first season of Karen Kane shipped at the end of 1979, so I guess that's when I "officially" started designing!

Can you describe the clothing Karen Kane offers?

I believe in clothing that's versatile enough to last several seasons, yet fashionable enough to be of-the-moment. We're known for our clothing's comfort, ease, and longevity. I want women to not only look good in what they wear, but also to feel great while they're wearing it.

Karen Kane provides clothing in regular and plus sizes.  Why did you venture into the plus size market?

We started our women's division in 1999, after we received a lot of requests from customers for it. We really felt like there was a void in the market for women who wanted clothing that was not only flattering but also updated and fashion-forward at the same time.

When designing for the plus size woman is there anything you focus on or try to accomplish with your designs?

We always want to create a cohesive and complete collection so that our women's customers have as many options as possible. I think it's always important to balance the basics with some more trend-driven statement pieces each season. I like to think we try to provide a little for everyone - basic tees and tanks for our customers who love our core essentials, as well as a lot of great fashion pieces that are long-lasting enough to work for several seasons.

What is your approach to design for each season?

It totally varies by season! Sometimes I'm inspired by a color story, other times it might be a print or pattern that I fall in love with. For holiday, I love all the rich colors paired back to neutrals. You'll see a huge burst of color this spring...that's my favorite thing about fashion - there's never a formula!

If you had to pick one or two of your favourite pieces from this seasons collection which would they be?

It's tough to pick just a couple, but if I had to, I'd say one would be the faux fur shawl collar jacket - it's a stunning piece that you'll want to own forever. The metallic drop shoulder pullover is another one I'd say is a must-have this season - metallics are everywhere this year!

What do you think is a must have for this season?

Anything sequined, metallic, furry, and FUN! There are so many great over-the-top pieces this season, that I think it's the perfect time to try something new you might never have considered before. I always suggest taking one thing into the dressing room with you that you think you'd never wear...I always find myself discovering new styles that later become staples for me. It's a great way to keep things fresh and exciting.

Here are a few FUN picks from Karen Kane:

Karen Kane offers sizes in 1X-3X, to find them on her website search in the Specialty Size section.  If you find something you love (how could you not?) remember to use coupon code 2011FASHION to save 20% on your purchase.

Happy Shopping!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. hanks for featuring her! She's one of the most adorable plus size designers. She's gorgeous.

    plus size clothing Australia

  3. Great article. Thanks for the interview.


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