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Former Teacher and SF Resident Kara Laricks Debuts Collection in New York

2012 has been an amazing year for Kara Laricks. In May, she was crowned the first winner of NBC’s Fashion Star after ten grueling weeks of design challenges. And now, just three months later, she’s debuted her latest collection during New York Fashion Week.

Though she’s finally making her mark on the industry, fashion was not always Laricks’ calling. She worked as a fourth grade schoolteacher in San Francisco for ten years, always encouraging students to be true to themselves – and with the support of family and friends, finally took her own advice. Laricks enrolled in the graduate program at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University School of Fashion, earning her master’s degree in fashion design. Her thesis collection was featured during the Academy of Art University Spring ’09 Fashion Show in New York, giving Laricks’ her first taste of the fashion big-leagues.

On Sunday, September 9th, fashion lovers and ardent Laricks supporters gathered at Pier 57 for the presentation of her Spring ’13 collection. Models stood atop wooden blocks of varying heights, striking poses as photographers snapped away. Awash in shades of blue, black, orange and buttercup yellow, the collection was a pure representation of Laricks’ unique point of view.

She was inspired by an exhibition of Japanese matchbook covers that perfectly combined two of her loves – the period from which they came, and elements of Japanese design. “The matchbook covers were from the late 1920s and early ‘30s, which is a period that I’ve always loved. There was such a revolutionary spirit and clothing had a more androgynous feel. And I love Japanese design in general, Yohji Yamamoto is one of my idols. So when I found the matchbooks I knew they were going to be my inspiration.”

The collection featured a mix of masculine tailoring and feminine silhouettes – structured shorts suits and playful rompers, silky slip dresses and sheer blouses paired with cropped pants. When asked about the woman she designed for, Laricks described a design-conscious customer, looking for something a little different. “Its definitely for someone who enjoys fashion and things that are a little quirky – I can definitely see people on both coasts wearing it.”

And with so many covetable looks to choose from, we wouldn’t be surprised to see her debut collection hitting San Francisco stores next season.