The newly released “Outland Denim x Karen Walker” capsule is a six-piece limited-edition collection, featuring its Sage Jean in two colors, designed with a flared, cropped ankle finish; its Rhythm Skirt, a wrapped mini; the Goldie Jacket, inspired by a classic worker’s jacket, also available in two colors, and The Drummer Girl T-shirt, made with a bespoke print — all constructed from sustainably sourced and produced premium organic cotton, and the use of organic dyes.
Each look features unique details, such as bold, classic Karen Walker silhouettes and signature arrow zippers and contrasting marigold stitching. The collection is available in stores now via each designer’s respective web sites and at Theiconic.com.au.
Outland Denim, based in Australia, found Walker’s New Zealand-based brand to be a natural partner for the capsule. James Bartle, founder and chief executive officer of Outland Denim, told WWD, “There is an empowering energy in Karen Walker’s designs. Our staff is incredibly proud of this collection, as it provided many opportunities to learn new techniques and up-skill. In our production and finishing facilities there is a buzz in the air, having completed it,” adding that “we’ve been longtime fans of not only the label’s design lens but also their ongoing commitment to prioritizing transparency and ethical practices over products.”
Bartle explained, “This collection represents a huge milestone for us, to work alongside someone so highly regarded in our industry. The fact that our team has tailored this collection is testimony to their dedication to their craft, and we are incredibly proud of this achievement.”
Atypically, the collection is supported by Outland Denim’s business model that equips vulnerable and formerly enslaved young women with training and employment pathways in its Cambodia-based production house, which also aids women in positions of varying vulnerability, inclusive of those leaving exploitative situations within garment factories, with physical disabilities and those who have been trafficked for labor, the company said.
But, there’s more: Outland Denim also assists in rebuilding its employees’ futures by providing in-house training and career progression, an up-skilling model centered on investing in its employees. Bartle explained, “Unlike a standard garment factory, our seamstresses are trained in every element of the jean-making process. Over a period of approximately two years, our trainee staff enrolls in a program of cross-training and up-skilling to gain a deep knowledge in the areas of cutting, finishing and sewing. With demonstrated proficiency, our seamstresses are given the opportunity to progress their careers to managerial roles.”
And Karen Walker, founder and ceo of her eponymously named brand, added, “In the three years Outland has been making their incredible denim they’ve taken over 100 people on a journey with them from a place of vulnerability to a place of empowerment. This is what Outland Denim’s all about to me and I’m honored to be able to be part of that ongoing journey.” Walker said the core of the collaboration a shared ethos of consuming less, less often, and choosing better quality. “Karen Walker and Outland are both committed to creating well-designed and well-crafted pieces that are enjoyed and worn for many decades, and the pieces in this capsule are a testament to that.”
For more business news from WWD, see: