Kara Laricks is a fashion designer, writer and inspirational speaker living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Raised in the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education followed by a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction both from the University of Kansas. Laricks taught first in Kansas and later in California. While living in San Francisco, Laricks enrolled in the master’s program in fashion design at the Academy of Art University and closed the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week graduate fashion show with her menswear inspired S/S 2009 collection.
Former fourth-grade schoolteacher Kara Laricks always told her students to be true to themselves. Finally, she took her own advice and pursued a career in fashion, winning NBC’s first season of Fashion Star. She designs androgynous clothing for men and women, inspired by her love of menswear and an avant-garde Japanese design aesthetic. Best known for her hoodie scarves and collar-and-ties, Laricks puts a spin on what is deemed traditional women’s fashion. She considers her partner Melissa to be her biggest supporter because she encouraged her to make fashion her full-time job.
As a member of Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority and as an out lesbian, Laricks is the perfect speaker for challenging gender norms and for bringing together the fraternity and sorority community and the LGBT community (National Coming Out Day, Greek Week, Women’s History Month, etc). Plus in addition to speaking, Laricks can also meet with fashion design and art classes.
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