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Shop Talk: Karen Kane

karen-kane-portrait-smallAmerican fashion designer Karen Kane and her designs have become truly synonymous with style, comfort, and sophistication. Based in California, the label provides customers with easy but luxurious fashion created with longevity in mind. The line even includes plus sizes!
 
Finding inspiration in the California Coast, Kane is revered for her professional drive coupled with her sense of humility. Making a personal appearance at Dillard’s Downtown Summerlin (11011 Sage Park Drive at Sahara and the 215 Beltway) on Saturday, October 11, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., I got a chance to interview Kane beforehand. Here’s what she had to say.
 
LS: Of all the things happening in fashion right now, what do you find most exciting?
KK: The Internet has completely changed the way the fashion industry functions. When we launched our company in 1979, so many of the things we take for granted today didn’t exist: cell phones, social media, ecommerce…the list goes on. Each has dramatically impacted the industry as a whole and our business personally. Thirty years ago, we manually tallied re-orders from boutiques to figure out which styles sold well. Today, we immediately find out which styles are bestsellers as soon as they hit the Internet. In the same way, fashion trends spread much faster now. Fashion bloggers and social media have made it easier to learn about trends and echo someone else’s personal sense of style. As a designer, I love the ability to find inspiration from so many new sources.
 
LS: I LOVE your hoodies! Do you have any style tips for making the look chic? Like, how can I get away with wearing one of your hoodies to the office?
KK: Hoodies can be so comfortable without losing their sporty-chic vibe. They’re the perfect weekend option, but translating them to the office can be a little tougher. To dress it up, the easiest solution is to pair it with a skirt. If you can add texture, you’ll look a bit more polished – think faux leather, jacquard, or something else that adds a little dimension to your outfit. Other tips would include wearing it over a button-down shirt and making sure the hoodie you choose fits your silhouette. Skip anything too oversized to avoid looking overly casual.
 
LS: What was the inspiration behind your current fall collection?
KK: For Fall 2014, I drew inspiration from our natural surroundings, specifically the landscape of the American west. You’ll see warm earthy tones as well as bolder hues like blue, orange, and mahogany. The prints range from Southwestern-inspired styles to more geometric, monochromatic patterns.
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LS: I’m seeing lots of blue among your fall fashion pieces, and it looks awesome. Tell us about your infatuation with this color.
KK: Blue has always been my favorite color! It’s funny because I was recently trying to think of a season in which I didn’t use any blue and I couldn’t come up with one. After neutral shades like black, white, and gray, I think it’s probably the most universal color. It’s easy to wear and looks great year-round.
 
LS: One of the things that I really appreciate about your label is that you offer plus sizes! Give us your take on the plus size market, and how these customer are too often ignored.
KK: There are a lot of exciting things happening in the plus market right now. For a long time, fashionable choices have been very limited in plus size. However, ecommerce and plus-size bloggers have been instrumental in changing that by giving customers new place to turn to for inspiration and to discover new brands.
 
LS: Any particular items from your fall collection that you’d like us to take note of?
KK: Some of my favorites include our Bronze Sequin Dress, Leopard Print Textured Dress, Contrast Plaid Moto Jacket, Scoop Neck Embroidered Top, and Vegan Leather Jacket.
 
LS: Your Fall/Winter 2014 video is SO cool! How much work goes into making a fashion video, and what was it like working on it?
KK: I’m glad you enjoyed it! Twice a year, we shoot on location for our spring and fall collections. Each season has its own unique character, so we try to capture that in the outfits we shoot and the settings we choose. For Fall 2014, we wanted a very futuristic, clean look so we shot on location in Downtown Los Angeles. We took over the 12th floor of a building overlooking MacArthur Park and the city skyline. It was beautiful and totally set the mood for the day.
 
LS: What can we look forward to for your spring collection?
KK: For Spring 2015, I can sum up the season with one word: color! There will be LOTS of it. Expect bright, bold hues, floral prints, and lots of art-inspired patterns. There is a bit of tropical, Miami-inspired feeling that runs throughout the collection. I’m also very excited to launch our first-ever jewelry and hat collections… both are designed to complement our sportswear and help you complete your look.
 
LS: Are there other fashion designers, fashion icons, or celebrities that inspire you?
KK: It varies all the time. I love icons like Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, and Audrey Hepburn but I also look to contemporary individuals for inspiration as well. It’s hard to name any one person in particular because it changes often!
 
LS: How would you describe the woman you design for?
KK: I think the Karen Kane woman wants to feel comfortable without sacrificing her sense of style. She’s busy and wants a polished look that can translate into many different aspects of her life – whether it’s heading to the office or spending time with friends and family on the weekend.
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View Karen Kane’s Fall/Winer 2014 fashion video below. You’ll love it.
 

 

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