Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Clothes Make the Woman: Kara Laricks, an out Outsider, Makes a Big Splash on TV and at America's Biggest Clothing Stores

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Clothes Make the Woman: Kara Laricks, an out Outsider, Makes a Big Splash on TV and at America's Biggest Clothing Stores

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

NBC's spring reality competition Fashion Star gave 14 designers a chance to win a multimillion-dollar prize to launch their brand with some of America's largest retailers. Three buyers, Caprice Willard from Macy's, Terron E. Schaefer from Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nicole Christie from H&M, vied each week for the right to buy and exclusively carry the designers' work. Unlike any other reality show, Fashion Star pulled viewers into the business aspect of the contest, as the purchased designs were immediately available both online and in stores after episodes aired.

Winner Kara Laricks, a former fourth-grade teacher and out lesbian, triumphed with her androgynous styles. She successfully combined fashion and business expertise to land $6 million in orders for her designs, which will be sold at Macy's, H&M, and Saks.

Fashion Star's fresh approach to a fashion design competition, with the addition of buyers purchasing designs off the runway each week, presented the contestants with challenges and opportunities. That aspect of the show helped Laricks develop her practical business side, she says. …

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