We recently caught up with Karen Ko of k2o—just in time for her Fab debut! The NYC-based designer grew up alongside her family’s fine jewelry business, but attempted to make a break with her heritage and work in the finance industry instead. Thankfully, it didn’t stick, and Ko soon returned to her roots to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and launch her own handcrafted line. k20 creations are bold, feminine and designed with modern women’s independent style in mind! We wanted to know more about her influences and decided to grill her a little.
Fab: Where do you find inspiration?
Karen Ko: I have a fascination with geometric patterns, which can be found all over New York City, from skyscrapers like the Chrysler building to the Brooklyn Bridge.
At the same time, I am also heavily influenced by the fashion trends. I absolutely love fusing my style with current trends to create my own signature look that is bold, edgy and feminine all at once.
Fab: Which designers—jewelry or otherwise—have directly influenced your aesthetic?
KK: Designers that I greatly admire who inspire my style are: Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Balmain, Haider Ackermann. And the list goes on…
Fab: Is there a specific moment in your childhood when you discovered your passion for creating jewelry yourself?
KK: I have always loved sparkly, shiny baubles since I was a little girl, but the desire to create my own jewelry came later when I was ten years old. I spent the summer hanging out with my grandmother, who taught me how to weave sparkly Swarovski crystals into little shapes and cartoon characters. That was the beginning of my fascination with Swarovski crystals, which eventually evolved into my k2o jewelry brand!
Fab: Who are your style icons?
KK: Daphne Guinness! And of course Lady Gaga, too.
Fab: What do you hope your designs communicate to the wearer?
KK: Fashion forward and fabulous!