WALKER’S NEW DIRECTION: Add Karen Walker to the list of designers who are switching it up for fall. The New Zealand-based contemporary sportswear designer, has decided to skip her New York fashion show in September — which she’s done for the past 20 seasons.
“There are so many things in the toy box in ways to show and talk to our customers,” said Walker, citing initiatives such as direct digital marketing, celebrity dressing and expanding her social media presence. “You can have a constant dialogue with your customers rather than every six months. Walker, who was reached in London where she was doing a shoot, said she shoots new content every two weeks. “Digital advertising is so powerful now,” said the designer, who in addition to producing ready-to-wear collection has jewelry, eyewear, home, paints and collaborations on handbags and footwear.
For the past six or seven seasons, Walker has had a runway show at Pier 59 in New York.
“We’re finding over the last five years, technology has changed so much and how we engage with it. The traditional fashion show model isn’t the most important thing in the tool kit,” said the designer, who spends 130 days on the road and sells in 38 countries. In addition to her wholesale distribution of 1,000 doors, the designer has five freestanding stores and an e-commerce site.