The Kane Family (left to right): Lonnie, President; Karen, Designer; Robert, design student, Parsons; Michael, Marketing Director
Karen Kane ranks among our favorite West Coast imports. The family-run brand is a Gwynnie Bee staple; we can’t get enough of their ultra-soft tops and cool prints.
“We’re very excited about Gwynnie Bee. It’s a fantastic way for women to try out new clothing and take risks with fashion they might not otherwise. Karen has always believed that you shouldn’t rule something out until you’ve tried it at least once. Whether it’s a trend, a color, or a style you’ve never considered before, you can’t know how it will look on you until you try it. Gwynnie Bee is the perfect way to bring that philosophy to life,” says Michael Kane, Karen Kane’s eldest son and the brand’s Marketing Director. Here Michael shares some insight into one of our favorite brands.
Where did your mom’s interest in fashion start?
“As a kid, Karen loved playing with dolls that she could dress up in different outfits. Eventually, she learned how to sew and her mom bought her a sewing machine. By the time she graduated high school and moved to LA to attend fashion school, she had already been designing patterns & constructing clothes for years.”
(Left) Karen and the photography crew on location for the Fall 2013 lookbook shoot
(Right) Karen adjusts the collar of a blazer from the December Royal Treatment collection
Can you tell us a little bit about her design background?
“Karen graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 1976. She then worked at several clothing companies– until meeting her husband, Lonnie, at a juniors label. He was the company’s production manager at the time. They decided to start their own company in 1979 – three months after they got married.”
(Left) Karen and Michael regroup with the crew on the Fall 2013 Lookbook set
(Right) On location to shoot Fall 2013
What has the brand’s experience been with creating clothes for such a broad range of sizes?
“Karen launched the plus-size division of Karen Kane in 1999, in response to increasing requests from customers for extended sizes in her most popular styles. The collection has evolved over time to include her key essentials (closet staples), comfortable fabrics, and versatile styles that can translate from the workweek to the weekend. While it’s impossible to offer every style in a full size range, we try our hardest to make sure our favorite key items are represented each season.”
Karen with her youngest son, Robert
What influences Karen’s designs?
“Everything! Karen finds inspiration everywhere. One season it might be a color or pattern that she uses as the basis of her collection. The next season it might a city or country she visited. It always changes – that’s what keeps fashion interesting!”
Can’t wait to cash in on autumn’s cobalt trend? Neither can we! Take a sneak peek at the Karen Kane pieces launching in tomorrow’s New Arrivals, below along with their tips for styling each piece.
Love Karen Kane? Get your hands on their latest pieces – launching in tomorrow’s New Arrivals! Tell us which ones you’re pining for!