Lexus and Karen Walker announce new fashion collaboration

Celebrating 13 years as a Lexus ambassador, famed Kiwi designer Karen Walker has collaborated with the luxury car brand to create two unique and special pieces.

Both new designs – the Lexus x Karen Walker tote bag and the Lexus x Karen Walker sunglasses – feature design elements that reflect the design philosophy of both entities.

The Karen Walker x Lexus handbag and sunglasses will be available as a gift to new Lexus buyers from 1st September 2020, and available to purchase directly from Lexus dealerships. 

Lexus and New Zealand design icon Karen Walker have taken their common interest in creativity and craftsmanship into a new collaboration to create two unique and special pieces.  

For Karen, who has been a Lexus Ambassador for over 13 years, the opportunity to collaborate with Lexus was a natural fit.  

“I always love the process of bringing two brands together to create something they couldn’t do independentlyWe do this a lot in our work with great partnerships forming the basis of much of our storytelling,” she says. 

It made sense for us to extend our long relationship with Lexus into creating product for them to share with the Lexus community.”  

Two designs are available exclusively to Lexus customers as part of the collaboration: a Lexus x Karen Walker tote bag and sunglasses.  

The Lexus x Karen Walker tote bag is crafted from a soft tan leather that closely matches Lexus’ own tan leather: Ochre. For handbags, leather is unmatchable for its durability and strength as well as the way it wears and ages.  

The tote features the elegant Lexus ‘L’ design on both sides and brings into play the combination of perforated and smooth leather combined with heavy stitching so intrinsic to Lexus interiors. The distinctive Lexus spindle grille design is seen in repeat on the handbag’s lining. It’s the perfect every-day or weekend-away piece and can easily fit all the essentials for a day out. 

Meanwhile, the Lexus x Karen Walker sunglasses reference the lines of the LC 500 coupe, with strong, graphic, rounded frames in black acetate with acetate temples made in a new design inspired by Lexus’ signature Shimamoku woodgrain used throughout their interiors.  

The iconic Karen Walker arrow, this time in new micro-size, is also featured on the temples. Attention to detail is key as always, and even the eyewear case captures the Lexus LC 500’s interior combination of blue and orange as well as Lexus Shimamoku woodgrain.  

The collaboration ties Lexus’ brand pillars of brave design, Takumi craftsmanship and Omotenashi with Karen’s own personal design commitment to creativity and craft. 

“Takumi and Omotenashi are philosophies that every designer is inspired by,” Karen continues. “I’ve always been drawn to these myself in my work and beyond and I love the way that Lexus truly embrace these at every level. They’re definitely both there in this project.” 

Karen says she believes Lexus tells its brand story quietly and authentically and for her it was essential to approach the Lexus x Karen Walker project in the same way.  

“We didn’t want the bag and glasses to be simply existing designs with new badging applied. Lexus had to be integrated and real. We were clear about the intention and parameters and then let the imagination and the craft do the rest,” she says. 

“Lexus’ core design philosophy is driven by visionary anticipation, looking to be original and exciting in everything we do,” says Andrew Davis, Lexus New Zealand’s Marketing General Manager.  

“We are so glad that we have great partnerships with people like Karen, whose design language exudes those same qualities and brand values.”  

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