Karla Welch is a force to be reckoned with. The veteran stylist is the mastermind behind looks for Tracee Ellis Ross, Megan Rapinoe, Anita Hill, and Justin Bieber and responsible for both outstanding red carpet moments as well as elevating the scumbro aesthetic. Her latest collaboration with Dockers, her second outing with the label, is one that is close to her heart—which is how she seemingly approaches everything.
Welch first lent her Midas touch to the old-school khakis label in 2019 (it was sold exclusively at Dover Street Market and xkarla.com), but this time around, the price point is much more accessible, and that much cooler featuring utilitarian silhouettes that are nipped and tucked and enhanced with a dash of millennial pink. “It’s always about what I want in my closet and then making it perfect and simple,” she told ELLE.com of the six-piece collection.
Everything about is personal: The shrunken cardigan is inspired by Welch’s favorite childhood sweater and she recalls her first memories of khakis are being directly linked to her father. Even the campaign, which was birthed through necessity in the time of COVID, stars her own family including her teenage daugher Clem. It was Mashot in isolation by her husband and photographer Matthew Welch. The end result is a wearable, genderless collection meant to last a lifetime, and affect a life too—in honor of the Dockers® x karla collaboration, the workwear brand is making a donation to The Trevor Project.
Via email, Welch shared details of her soon-to-be sold out collaboration, how quarantine has affected her style, and her thoughts on social media activism.
What’s your first memory tied to a pair of Dockers?
I think it’s more the idea of classic khakis that I’ve been obsessed with. My dad sold them in his store and I’d get the smallest men’s pair and paper bag belt them.
The wide-legged pants in particular are amazing. What is the best way to style them?
However you want!! With sneakers, with heels with a sweatshirt or with a tank too, and a blazer endless!
With quarantine, creatives have had to, well, get creative. You’ve shown that yourself with your at-home photoshoot for this campaign. How else have you been spending your time in isolation?
I’m catching up on twenty years of not enough sleep! Also really enjoying the time with Clem!
How has quarantine changed your relationship to fashion and style?
It’s made me love comfy! Also, right now I’m craving all the beautiful! But it’s also making me question what do I really need? The truth is, not much. That’s always been my ethos—buy what you will still have and wear 20 years from now. I believe it’s true with this collab! I want my clothes to become your vintage.
As someone who has always used her platform to speak on politics and social causes, how has that changed and developed over the past few months?
I am who I am. It’s my responsibility to use my platform and privilege.
What are your thoughts on how fashion brands are responding to BLM, both positively and negatively?
I think companies who have always walked the talk are continuing to do so and that those are the companies I will support. Truth is truth. You can’t fake it.
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