This week fourth grade schoolteacher-turned-designer Kara Laricks was crowned the first ever "Fashion Star." The comeback kid was almost eliminated in week one of the show because of her unusual collar-and-ties creation. But she took the buyers' feedback to heart and ultimately created collections worthy of placement in three of the countries biggest department stores -- Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, and H&M.
Kara Laricks Sold Almost Exclusively to Saks Fifth Avenue on 'Fashion Star.'
During the season, Laricks sold her items consistently to Saks' buyer Terron Schaefer. The 38-year-old New Yorker's androgynous styles didn't seem to appeal as much to the more mainstream buyers from Macy's or even H&M.
Even when Laricks did get the rare offer from Macy's or H&M, Saks outbid them. In fact it wasn't until the penultimate episode that Laricks made sales to both Macy's and H&M -- making her one of only two designers, along with previously eliminated contestant Luciana Scarabello, to sell to all three outlets.
Kara Laricks Loved Luxury on 'Fashion Star.'
In a recent conference call interview, Laricks said she realized the beauty of being bought by the non-Saks retailer a little too late in the game. She confessed, "I loved designing for Terron. I loved designing for that Saks customer. I loved luxury, and to me that's just the niche where I love to design."
She added, "But I have to tell you that it was so exciting as I watched all of my competitors' garments sell out at both Macy's and H&M. So as I was watching the competition unfold, I just thought there's nothing like that excitement of pieces selling out within 24 hours that customers saw them on TV."
Kara Laricks Clothes Cover a Wide Range of Prices After 'Fashion Star.'
With the higher price point at Saks, Laricks garments didn't move as quickly. Take for example the price range of the three stores who are currently selling items from Laricks' winning collection. The shorts she designed for Saks are selling for $125. Macy's has a romper from her for $79. And H&M has one for just $39.95.
Laricks also has tops selling at all three stores from her winning collection. At H&M, her white T-shirt is selling for just $14.95 while at Saks a red cotton version is a whopping $150. Fans can get a dressier solid or printed tie-neck blouse at Macy's for $69.
And for those looking for dresses, there's a wide range of options yet again. Larick's stunning ecru leather-panel gown tops the charts at $425. She has a much more affordable black, sleeveless A-Line dress selling at Macy's for $79. And a variety of them ranging from $19.95 to $49.95 at H&M.
Kara Laricks Wants to Design Clothes That People Can Afford.
So even though Laricks' enjoys designing for the high-end market, she's discovered the appeal of reaching a different demographic at the other outlets. She conceded, "When we were taping, it was definitely more difficult to design for Macy's and H&M. But as I was watching the competition I just kept thinking, 'If I had known this was how it was going to turn out, I sure would have attempted maybe to try that little bit earlier because it was thrilling to see people get what they want at prices that they could afford.'"
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