A Note from Kara Laricks, University of Fashion’s Newest Blogger

As a former fashion design student, the first winner of NBC’s Fashion Star and as a designer living and working in New York City, I am thrilled to share my experience and expertise with the University of Fashion community. Francesca Sterlacci, founder of the University of Fashion, was once my instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Due to her careful guidance and endless patience, I successfully learned how to pattern and sew a pair of trousers, an a-line dress and a notched collar jacket. When Francesca shared her vision for the University of Fashion with me, I knew I wanted to be a part of her quest to give students, emerging designers and industry professionals the tools and inspiration they need to succeed in the fashion industry.

Academy of Art University Spring 2009 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City on September 5th, 2009.When I entered the master’s program of fashion design at the Academy of Art University, I did not know how to drape, draw or sew. However, I knew I had a vision and was determined to learn the skills I needed to make my design dreams come true. Often I would return home from my classes with my head so full of new information, there was no way to retain it all. As a student, I would have utilized the University of Fashion’s clear cut instructional videos as my own personal tutor. I am grateful that now I have the chance to pass this resource on to you.



As the winner of Fashion Star, I designed capsule collections for H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. I had the opportunity to work with pattern makers, sample sewers, photographers, stylists, models and buyers – all in an effort to realize that vision which led me to seek a degree in fashion design. I am looking forward to sharing my unique Fashion Star experience with you as well.


Today, I design my own line – Kara Laricks – in New York City. I have faced the challenges most emerging designers face such as fabric sourcing, costing, production and distribution when building their businesses. I have also experienced the exhilarating parts of having my own line such as seeing my designs featured in publications like Women’s Wear Daily or watching my designs come alive on the runway. Through the University of Fashion, I hope to pass the lessons I have learned in the fashion industry on to you.

Photograph by Laura Wilson

Now, it’s my turn to inspire, educate and motivate you. As the University of Fashion’s Social Media Coordinator, I will be sharing my fashion industry insight as well as showing you how to best utilize the University of Fashion to pursue your own design dreams. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition, please contact me at kara@universityoffashion.com with your questions, comments and blog suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thrilled to be a part of the University of Fashion team!  -K

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.