The Style Line x Brand Assembly: Karie Laks’ Gift of Creativity

karie laks the style line

Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line


Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 11.53.48 PMMeeting amazing designers like Karie Laks is truly one of the best aspects of our ongoing partnership with BRAND ASSEMBLY. Even in the midst of their busy market season we were able to connect with Karie at their showroom to see her new collection and learn more about her story. Finding an intersection between dance and fashion, Karie’s eponymous label is bridging the divide between the fantastical elements of dance without compromising the wearability factor that is needed for the modern woman on the go. Karie herself embodies the essences of these ideas and we were excited to sit down with her to chat more about her thoughts on the intersection of fashion design with other industries, creativity’s role in the world and finding a sense of personal style. CHECK OUT OUR CONVERSATION AND SNAPSHOTS FROM OUR AFTERNOON BELOW – ALSO BE  SURE TO VISIT THE ASSEMBLIST FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SECOND PART OF THIS INTERVIEW.


karie laks the style line

I really enjoy

staying curious and learning. As a visual person, it really excites me to venture out and see as much as possible. I’m constantly visiting galleries and museums and going to see new performances on stage. I also enjoy traveling, spicy food, and making jokes with my friends. I’ve been trying to expand my hand at drawing and painting more than just fashion sketching; in general just navigating my own experience based off what excites me most.

When speaking with fashion designers we’ve sometimes discovered that their own sense of personal style can get away from them due to being so wrapped up in their brand’s collections. Can you weigh in on this? How important is to it sartorially remove yourself from your work/brand aesthetic? 

Well, as an eponymous label, I don’t think it very necessary to remove myself from my brand aesthetic, in fact, it is most necessary that I stay in tune with my evolving personal style and loyal to my vision. However, as the seasons progress, there is a more direct understanding for what the market dictates and what sells. But ultimately I like to think that my own personal style is a compliment to the brand’s identity.

We really love the label’s connection to dance and movement. How often would you say your relationship to fashion has evolved based on your experiences and knowledge as a dancer?

I think a lot about growing up as a dancer has contributed to my appreciation for fashion as well as an appreciation beyond fashion.  Discipline is one of the main lessons I learned from ballet. Not only is this an important value toward work ethic, but also a life lesson of staying strong and persevering.  Being surrounded by costumes and tuning in to the body, understanding movement of the body have also influenced my design aesthetic. I believe in fashion being wearable but also having a bit of whimsy and spirit to transport the ordinary into a more sense of fun and delicacy.

Would you say some of the most interesting or intriguing pieces come from intersecting points of creativity?  

I think a lot of the more interesting pieces come directly from the source themselves: the fabric. When I see I fabric that I am absolutely drawn to, I know I have to incorporate it into the collection. I may not know exactly what direction the design will be, but I do know that alone the fabric inspired thought and provokes me to investigate turning it into something interesting. There will always be that element of influence from dance but alongside that, are what I am seeing on a daily basis of shape, color and form.

What is one question you wish you were asked more often?

Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?

As a fashion designer do you ever find your own sense of personal style getting lost in the mix? How has fashion design inspired you to celebrate personal style? 

As a designer, I think you have to trust your taste and sense of style. I know that I am influenced by a lot of things I see, and for that reason, am continuously inspired to celebrate personal style while also experimenting, collaborating and being open to new ideas.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?

That could be a number of different things.  I could see a pattern on the ground that could inspire a textile design in my mind. NYC is the epicenter for street style in this country, and I am always looking around and making notes of what others choose to put together with their own personal style. There are soo many creatives roaming the streets, I always find it interesting to see what others wear around the city.

What role do you think creativity plays in some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you think fashion is contributing to this shift in thinking? 

I believe creativity is a gift and also a tool that can be used to chisel away at some of the world’s bigger conversations. Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” In a way, he was right because it isn’t until we run into obstacles and face challenges that we are forced to come up with alternative means to find a solution. Fashion is a pure expression of creativity and imagination, and I feel that through creation, we can see what works, what doesn’t and what new ideas can come about to challenge the current conversation of what’s going on to make something new. We have to think outside of what we already know to see greater results.