Chatting with Kara Janx
When we found out that Kara Janx won the second annual International Design Awards Competition for sportswear; we gave her a call to chat about it and whatever other topics pop up. One thing we have to say about Kara: she is one of the most charming people we’ve met. She’s funny and self-effacing and animated. She’s just a total hoot to talk to. Plus, we adore her feminine, colorful, funky clothes.
Congratulations, darling, that is awesome!
How did you get involved?
I got an email saying that I had been selected to submit my work for free, because there’s actually a fee involved to participate. So I said, “OK,” and sent some pictures of my collection and I didn’t think twice about it and that was it.
We read that over 1000 entries were submitted participating in several categories from over 52 countries.
I know. It’s bizarre. I wasn’t expecting to win at all. I just did it to participate.
How does it feel to win? It’s quite exciting, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. It’s great. I googled my name and found out that I won, which was funny.
Are you going to attend the ceremony in LA?
No, I’m like seven months pregnant [laughs].
When are you having your baby? Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?
In June, and It’s a little boy.
Have you been back to South Africa since your wedding?
No, I went to Thailand and I met up with my family there in December, which was great. We had a great time; a much needed rest.
Tell us a little bit about your spring 2009 collection. It’s very colorful, fun and wearable.
I felt that with the spring collection I finally got to a more commercial, funky space that I needed to get to in terms of designing a collection that really had one language and not like fifteen languages. It made a lot of sense, the fabrications were divine, the colors were very inspirational, they both worked so well together. It’s such a cohesive, well-edited, totally merchandised collection. It’s a nice springboard for my fall collection. I feel like I’m in a rhythm now that I kind of understand my customer. I can give them what they want without compromising my vision.
You have a lot of separates, which is perfect from a sales point of view.
Yes, they’re easy pieces, beautiful dresses in the right colors; it just made a lot of sense to me as a collection.
You also added some prints.
Yes. I’m not very print-driven but the prints that I do use are more like just a splash of design, it’s just to bring the whole color story together. The prints are a good starting point to draw a lot of colors from.
Are you still selling the wrap dress?
Of course, are you kidding me? Every day I get some sort of request, an order, a wedding dress kimono…you name it. The kimono is like the Everlasting Gobstopper. It’s incredible.
Are you doing swimwear and lingerie as well?
Every summer I like to do swimwear because I really enjoy that. The lingerie I have taken a step back from because it’s a major production for very little profit. I have to concentrate on what the label has become known for. The swimwear is sort of my anecdote, just a little something fun to add to the collection. The stores always respond to it and they always order it, but I don’t push it.
Speaking of stores, where can we find Kara Janx?
My clothes are sold nationwide – east coast, west coast and everything in between – including sites such as my site, karajanx.com, shopstyle.com, frenchcornersoho.com, ifashionmall.com and many other sites.
That’s quite an accomplishment.
Thank you, I can’t lie to you. It’s a lot of hard work.
Do you have a studio or do you work from home?
I’ve got a beautiful office now in the garment district and half of the office actually works as a little nursery for my little girl because she comes to work with me quite often. I’m so happy I’m out of the house. I need the space for my business to grow, but I also needed to get out of the house.
Thank you so much for taking the time, darling. It’s nice to see you doing so well.
My pleasure, I love you guys. I love what I do. It’s something I need to do, it’s my own remedy.
Check out her gorgeous spring line, ladies:
[Photos: Getty Images/karajanx.com]
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