Karen Walker: The Hottest Shades This Summer
4.16.12

We recently met the amazing designer behind cult-sunglasses line Karen Walker atop the city at the legendary Chateau Marmont’s penthouse. We were there to preview her incredible new collection of sunnies and shades, and not only did we get to check out the coolest sunnies you’ll be obsessed with this summer, we were also able to sit down for a chat with this designing woman about her business, style and what influences her most.

Plus, we’ve got a sweet summer style giveaway of the coolest specs under the sun! Find out how you can win an awesome pair of Karen Walker’s signature shades!

TCM: Karen, your eyewear has been seen on the some of the coolest style-makers out there.  Did you expect your frames to become such an obsession for Hollywood? Who was the first to wear them?

“From the start, we wanted to create a line in which every piece was a stand-out design. Nothing boring! Even the simple pairs are a little flatter, a little chunkier, a little squarer or a little brighter than one might at first expect.  They’ve been embraced by so many people – stylists, celebs and civilians alike – and we love to see them being worn on all these folks. The first celebs to embrace them though included Beth Ditto, Florence Welch, Rihanna and Sean Lennon.”

TCM:  This is your seventh season of sunglasses.  How do you decide what will influence the new season of sunnies?

“It’s part instinct, part relating back to the apparel and part reacting to the gaps in my own collection. It’s been about big? Let’s go small. The last few seasons have been about round? Let’s go square. We’re going big with gold on the runway in New York? Let’s have eyewear to match.  Never had a pair of bright lolly pink sunglasses before?  Let’s do some now.”

TCM:  Overall, what would you say is your biggest influence?  Do you take a cue from the fall and spring shows or try and stay independent from that?

“Given we show at the shows in NY every season and have done for 20 seasons, we of course consider what we’re showing on our own runway quite crucially and work the eyewear design to fit with that.”

TCM:  Beyond sunglasses, what are some of your favorite fashion brands?

“Well, obviously I wear a lot of Karen Walker clothes, but I also buy from other designers whose work I like. This season’s purchases so far have been mainly  from the old favourites: Balenciaga, Marni, Prada and Miu Miu.”

TCM: Favorites sunglasses of all time?

“Karen Walker ‘Hectors’ in any colour.”

TCM: You strike a pretty fashionable figure.  What is your go-to outfit?

“This season it’s our navy and cream houndstooth silk dress (look #25 in our spring summer show in NY last September) with our tan and gold heels from the same season.”

 

TCM: Any tips or tricks up your sleeve for wearing or keeping sunglasses in perfect condition?

“I’m a little naughty and leave mine lying around out of their cases in drawers, cars, handbags and on desks, so I’m a bad one to ask. I’m much rougher with them than I should be, but they seem to stand up to an awful lot of wear-and-tear.”

To enter the giveaway for an amazing piece from the Karen Walker eyewear collection leave us your comment below and tell us your best summer style tip.  The reader with the best tip will win!

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  1. Summer style must-have = coconut scented anything! Makes you smell like the beach, and as corny as that sounds, it’s kind of irresistible. Stay classy with the Body Shop’s dreamy Coconut Body Butter (tip I learned from a beauty editor friend) and your skin will stay extra silky too!

  2. I love these sun glasses! Its always nice to have a change. Thanks Karen!

  3. Always carry coconut oil with you. Great to smooth out beach hair (& nourish), apply to skin to moisturise, doubles as a lip balm and smells amazing! (Is antibacterial too – added bonus)

    Kimberley | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  4. during summer i’m all about dressing up for the beach by adding some jewelry to go with my suit and sunscreen. no schlubs here.

  5. i wear a lot of white tank tops – they go w everything!

    • I wasn’t raised w/a cumtoper. There are alot of scams out there, and many that say no exp. nec. You then get the info, and 1/2 of it you don’t know what they are talking about. Is there anything out there that’s fairly simple, that you can actually make a decent amt. of $$ at, w/out investing tons, and even maybe a little bit fun?!

  6. Big sunnies and a floppy hat are my summer staples – plus homemade sugar scrubs for soft, smooth skin:)

  7. Cropped pants with T’s and sunscreen!

    Bebe | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  8. Love all of the ideas – getting in the mood for summer!

    Suzanne Hall | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  9. I love nude pedicures, because they make your feet look pretty and show off your sandals!

    MJ Moore | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  10. A few dabs of rms living luminizer on eyebrows and cheekbones (just above + below sunglasses), just where the sun catches your faces and gives you that instant lift!

    Leslie | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  11. Summer style = Being comfortable in your own skin. Then, anything will look good on you!

    Kim | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  12. Summer style has me craving clothes in a minimal shape in a shocking shade of neon!

    Kimberlee | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  13. Find a great natural/organic chemical-free sunscreen and wear it EVERY DAY!!! Josie Maran SPF 40 is a great one for faces and Burt’s Bees SPF 30 for your entire body.

    Nicole S. | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  14. Summer style is all about the B’s:
    Bright, breezy, beach-ready, bold, barely-there, BEAUTIFUL

    Kenz | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  15. summer style is all about SPF and espadrilles :)

    shams | 04.18.2012 | Reply
    • I just made black bean brownies and they tnreud out delicious! I’m not a vegan or anything, but I am trying to incorporate more beans and lentils into my family’s diet. Brownies are an excellent way to present black beans to kids in a more attractive way. Great success!

  16. rompers are my go-to for summer style. i always pack them when i travel. they are cool and light like a dress, but they let you lounge on a blanket in the park or hop on your bike without flashing your goods! pair one with sandals and loose hair for day; heels, a hair topknot, and an arm party for night!

    EMILY | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  17. For me, looking good is all about being healthy and happy. In the summer, that means plenty of sunscreen, water and friends wherever I go!

    …And some waterproof eyeliner of course, because what good is looking radiant without a perfect cat-eye peeking out from under those killer sunnies? xx

  18. My favorite summer style is to wear one of my vintage Vera Neuman scarves, either in my hair or around my neck… then I wear simple, breezy tops and skirts to balance out the scarf’s bold colors and retro patterns.

  19. sunscreen — every day and a smile of course.

  20. Ponytails and lip gloss! Easy Breezy!

    Becca | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  21. My summer style tips – hot pink lips, beachy/wavy hair, sundress w/sandals, a smile and my favorite pair of Karen Walker sunglasses – the Number One. I get compliments on them all of the time and they are definitely one of the best ways to make your summer more stylish.

    Diana | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  22. Sunscreen, sundress, shades, and a clear lip gloss, paired with a great appreciation of life and a cool glass of ice tea. Hammock optional.

    Jill | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  23. My summer style tip: Always carry a large, lightweight scarf with you! You can use it for so many things! Wear it around your waist as a sarong at the beach. Tie it around a ponytail for a chic look. Bring it to a park, beach or even a music festival to spread out on the ground and sit on like a blanket. Wear it around your shoulders if the weather gets chilly. Wrap it around your head as a head scarf to protect your hair from the sun (the Karen Walker sunglasses would look so chic with this look). You can even tie it into a makeshift bag for some last-minute shopping. The possibilities are endless!

    Donna F. | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  24. My summer style tip is to carry a gorgeous statement necklace in your purse. This turns any day-the-beach-look into an evening look. A simple maxi dress becomes evening-ready just by adding the right piece of jewelry and putting your hair into an easy updo to showcase the necklace! Then you’re ready for any unexpected party invitations!

    Adele | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  25. I’m in love with her line of sunglasses! The only summer ritual I have is that I always spray diluted lemon juice in my hair before I go out in the sun. It helps bring out my natural red&blonde highlights and look very beachy. You have to make sure you don’t put your hair in a pony tail though, because it won’t get an even amount of sun and it will make your hair look weird and striped over time.

    Theresa | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  26. light fabrics, lots of water (best for your skin) and a really good attitude

    Amy | 04.18.2012 | Reply
  27. my summer style tip is a pair of karen walker sunnies!!! oh, and lots and lots of H2o :>

    regina | 04.19.2012 | Reply
  28. Experiment! Play with prints, colors, textures, and don’t be afraid to break the “rules”. Don’t let your style be limited by trends and don’t be afraid to go out of the box and try new and crazy things. Mix up your closet and find new purposes and pairings for old clothes and accessories and try new outfit combinations you wouldn’t have thought of before- you never know, it might look amazing!! Add confidence and anything/everything coconut (drink it, eat it, cook with it, apply it to hair, skin, lips, etc.) for the perfect unique summer style! xx

    Caroline | 04.19.2012 | Reply
  29. Want to have haute summer style?
    Here’s a tip that’s worth your while.
    Buy a pretty printed scarf..and you will find,
    so many ways to style it..it will blow your mind!
    You can tie it in your hair..
    the perfect pony..bounces in the air.
    You can tie it round your waist..
    people will tell you..you have great taste!
    You can wear it around your neck..
    or across your shoulders..keep your style in check!
    So what are you waiting for? Stock up on scarves now..
    you’ll be haute this summer..boom boom POW!

    Kellie Rose Wilson | 04.19.2012 | Reply
    • wow! I looove your senuins! and last picture is so cool! can I use it at my blog? BTW, I don’t have an I phone (I’m a blackberry girl) , but I would have one only for this app! Pictures are so great!kisses!

    • Het ziet er prachtig uit!Zalig kefeertsst voor jou en lesley en heel veel geluk, gezondheid en liefde toegewenst.En dat wij als lezers nog veel meer kunnen genieten van je blogpostsEn inspiratie opdoen!Liefs

  30. CONGRATULATIONS EMILY ~ You are our Karen Walker giveaway winner! We love the day-to-night summer tip!
    Thank you to all for the amazing style tips – our readers know how to style up the summer!

    The Chalkboard | 04.23.2012 | Reply
    • Hi Emily here-giveaway winner. Many thanks, but it is now June 21st and I still have not received my Karen Walker giveaway. I am dying to receive it! Can you let me know if there is something I need to do? THANKS!

      EMILY | 06.21.2012 | Reply
  31. Always the kiwi summer style – the jandels, ripped denim shorts and a loose tank top over a bikini. Can’t go wrong with that! Love KW sunnies and would love to rep them over here in the UK

    Francesca | 05.08.2012 | Reply
  32. Hi Emily here-giveaway winner. Many thanks, but it is now June 21st and I still have not received my Karen Walker giveaway. I am dying to receive it! Can you let me know if there is something I need to do? THANKS!

    EMILY | 06.21.2012 | Reply

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