Karen Hira is an up and coming fashion designer from Victoria, BC, Canada. She began designing and sewing last year. Karen loves bright, exotic colours and finds her design inspiration comes from tribal wear all over Asia and South America.
She has an impressive collection of beautiful swimwear, lingerie and dresses that she designed and sewed. Besides having the passion for fashion, Karen loves helping children who are in poverty.
Her work can be seenHERE
I had the pleasure of asking Karen a few questions to share her artistic vision with me.
AVIVA: How did you get started with clothing design?
KAREN HIRA: A year ago I had a vision for a dress that I wanted to wear for my birthday. I couldn't find it anywhere so I borrowed my aunt's sewing machine and decided I was going to try and sew it (the only other time I had sewed was in high school and I got a horrible grade lol). It worked! and I was like wow I can sew! After that I tried sketching out ideas for other dresses and I realized I could draw so I started sketching anytime I was sitting around, and it became a passion after that.
AVIVA: What is your favorite thing about designing clothing?
KH:Well there is always something amazing about creating something that exists only in your mind. I think that's why any kind of art is so unique. There is no other person who can put together your vision with your passion. When I sketch that idea on my blank canvas, it is a piece of me and you can't find that anywhere else.
AVIVA: Can you tell me a bit about how you came up with the concept of "India"?
KH: Most clothing lines are named after the designers themselves, well pretty much all of them. I wanted to name mine after my children (children that I don't have yet). I want to name my daughter India and my son Tye so my women's line will be 'India' and my men's 'Tye'. I am also very inspired by the palette of colors in Indian culture.
AVIVA: What is your biggest influence?
KH: My biggest influence is simplicity. I am very inspired by tribal wear all over Asia and South America. The colors and beauty of garments made of necessity. Exquisite garments made of simple materials and bright colors. The patterns, and details on their clothing are absolutely amazing to me. These people have probably never seen a fashion magazine in their life, but I truly believe they embody real fashion.
AVIVA: On your website, you state that National Geographic is your favorite magazine. Do you have any other magazines that you like?
KH: I don't read magazines aside from National Geographic. But because I model, I do enjoy looking at ads in magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue.
AVIVA: If you weren't designing clothes, what else would you be doing? (other passions that you have)
KH: My other other huge passion is for helping children. I hope my fashion career will help me to complete my passion of traveling around the world and working with organizations to help children in poverty. Once I start traveling and visiting impoverished areas around the world, I plan to write a book on what I have seen.
AVIVA: If money/time were no object, what would be your ultimate goal in the fashion industry?
KH: My goal is to use my talents designing to help contribute some sort of positive change in the world.
AVIVA: Do you have any last comments?
KH: I am really sick right now, my sinuses are in disarray, and I can't taste my ice cream. :( Life without ice cream is like a peanut butter cup with no peanut butter. Just saying.
Karen definitely has a unique product to offer the world of fashion. She is talented, passionate, and strives for a positive change in the world.
I wish Karen success in the industry for many years to come.