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Business woman Karen Walker on what matters to her

25 October 2017

Karen Walker Ok

Karen Walker CNZM was born in Auckland, New Zealand. She launched her eponymous fashion label in the late 1980s and showed at New York Fashion Week for twenty consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2016. Today her work is sold worldwide. Walker is committed to responsible, ethical sourcing, and her company partners with the African production company Artisan. Fashion to produce accessories of social significance. In 2004, she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and, in 2014, she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to fashion design.

Q. What really matters to you?

“It all comes down to my family and friends: the people I love and who love me.

“When a writer friend wrote a review of my work, he said, ‘It brings me out in exclamation marks!’ That stuck with me, because it’s really what you look for in life: something that brings you out in exclamation marks. So, I love my family and friends; I love art; I love great writing; I love people who create at a high level, without any weakness or doubt; I love solitude; I love travelling; I love cooking;

I love playing the piano; I love trying to get a perfect serve on the tennis court; I love when it’s just me and my yoga mat, and we’re doing our twenty thousandth Downward Dog together; and I love getting on a plane. All these things matter to me.”

Now in our 200th year Westpac is proud to support 200 Women, a storytelling project designed to provoke thought about diversity and equality through the stories of 200 women from around the world.

New Zealand-based publishers Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday travelled the world collecting the stories for 200 Women: Who will change the way you see the world (Chronicle Books, 2017). The women’s portraits were captured by celebrated photographer Kieran E. Scott.

The project is accompanied by an interactive exhibit you can visit at Sydney Opera House Forecourt from October 25 to November 6, 2017, and podcasts to which you can listen.

All the stories in the book belong to the women themselves. Some are confronting, many uplifting, all authentic. And, while we accept that not everyone will agree with all views, we are proud to begin a conversation about a range of issues that are important to women and men alike.


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