With just over six weeks to go until this year’s Semi-Permanent event, we’re giving you a taster of what you’re in for by profiling a different speaker each week. This week, it’s the duo of Karen Walker and Mikhail Gherman.
Karen started her eponymous brand in 1988 while in her first year at fashion school with just $100. The last twenty something years have been solely focused on building this tiny starting point into the leading fashion brand it is today with a reputation for its original, effortless and unpretentious style.
Karen Walker shows each season as part of New York Fashion Week and has permanent showrooms in London, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.
Karen Walker collections are high casual with one foot in tailoring and the other in street wear. The reoccurring theme is taking extremes and pushing them together - masculine and feminine, tailored and street, luxury and non-luxury, dark and super-cute.
Overall the label has a feeling of effortlessness and has been described by the U.K.’s Independent newspaper as being “the kind of look that provides a means of appearing cool but not trying-too-hard, cute but not saccharine, alternative but not self consciously so. The fact that these clothes appear to be so totally not ‘fashion’ is what makes them so now”.
Celebrities such as Bjork, Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung, Beth Ditto, Jennifer Lopez, Claire Danes, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Mandi Moore, Shirley Manson, Kate Hudson, Claudia Schiffer, Drew Barrymore and Madonna all favour her work with four pieces from the Dust collection featuring on Kate Winslet in Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman’s legendary film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Mikhailstudied towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts for four years at Elam, majoring in painting and then graphic design. After leaving University he had a graphic design company for several years before moving into the advertising world as an art director and later, creative director. He has been with Publicis Mojo since 1991.
Parallel to his advertising career he has also been creative director and partner in the Karen Walker brand since its inception in the late 80’s.
Semi-Permanent, held in Auckland on August 21 & 22, is a celebration of all things design - graphics, fashion, animation, illustration, motion graphics, typography, sound design, live audio-visual art, interactive and experiential marketing, fine art, music, product design and more.
More on Semi Permanent here.