Carolina Lemke x Kim Kardashian West
If you want to know what mainstream fashion is going to look like in a month or two, just direct your eyes to Kim Kardashian West. What South Korea is to skincare and what Google is to tech, the Kardashians—Queen Kim, in particular—are to style and makeup. She creates, curates, and publicizes the trends of the imminent future. So two weeks ago, when we caught wind that KKW was collaborating with relatively under-the-radar German sunglasses designer Carolina Lemke to release a new collection of futuristic, head-turning shades (which dropped April 2 on CarolinaLemke.com), we stood at attention. The Berlin-born brand, which is so unknown in the United States that it wasn't even available on our side of the pond until launching alongside KKW earlier this week, was an intriguing choice for beauty mogul KKW, who is not only promoting the brand but actually conceptualized and helped design each style from soup to nuts.
The April 2 release consists of seven bold shapes (price tags start at $90) in hues like neon orange, jet black, and sleek silver; expect six more later this spring. The complete collection will feature geometric shield styles (big enough to hide even the most considerable under-eye bags), as well as narrower '90s frames and a tiny, oval variety (proving the controversial trend isn't going anywhere in 2019). True to KKW form, her debut in the accessory space is nothing subtle.
But we still had so many questions. What motivated this particular collab? What inspired the styles? What sunglasses styles does she predict will dominate summer 2019? An invitation to interview KKW would provide an opportunity to find answers. On an unseasonably hot Tuesday, we met up with the star, who we found dressed in head-to-toe eggplant—a tailored suit and trendy snakeskin boots; her thick, jet-black hair falling down to her waist like a space-age Cher.
A few days before, we asked you lovely readers what style questions you wanted KKW to answer: We had the chance to ask her a few of yours and a few of ours (and take a selfie, of course, because if you spend 10 minutes chatting fashion trends with the world's most recognizable socialite and don't 'gram it, did it even happen?). We got Kim's hot take on the style lessons she's exchanged with her sisters, her holy-grail travel outfit, what accessory trends she thinks will dominate summer 2019, and more. Keep scrolling to read our conversation.
What are some style lessons you've learned from your sisters and some lessons you've taught them?
I've taught them everything! Just kidding.
Each sister's different. From Kendall, I've learned just to be super effortless. You don't need to wear a lot of makeup to look pretty or beautiful. She's always so effortless. Kourtney has taught me to hold on to things. She would hold on to every last piece of clothing from high school. And now that I love vintage so much it's really cool to have those pieces.
And to pass them on.
Yeah, totally. That's what it's all about. That's what I'm most excited about—just to have a big, crazy wardrobe and to be able to pass it all on.
What about the lessons you've taught them?
I guess I've really pushed the sexy factor. I'm always encouraging them if they have an option between two things to wear the sexier one. And I love to be monochromatic, whether it's bright or neutral, but I think I've taught them to be a little more neutral with the colors they choose.
I am loving the monochromatic purple with the snake.
Oh, thank you!
What are your five holy-grail accessories for summer 2019?
Oh, I love a Judith Leiber bag. I always love them. They're just so fun. And then obviously a pair of sunglasses from Carolina Lemke. I really love wrap-up shoes lately. And for jewelry, I'm loving bigger cuffs and bracelets and stuff now. I wore a head jewel piece the other day. This beautiful gold Indian headpiece and earrings that I really love.
If you could only wear one outfit to travel for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would be these gray Yeezy sweats, a gray tank top with a matching hoodie, gray socks (I have to wear socks traveling), and these gray Yeezy 700s. For travel, it's all Yeezy.
What would you say is the one fashion item you personally wear the most?
So I do love to wear things over and over. I just think it's ridiculous to go spend all that money and then wear it once and never again. I would say it's got to be a coat of mine or a pair of shoes. I think you can literally never go wrong with a pair of Lucite heels. They go with everything. I've worn mine to the ground.
Reader questions below!
What was the inspiration for this line?
My inspo for this line was I just wanted really cool glasses that were accessible and fun.
Why did you decide to collab with Carolina?
My friend Bar Refaeli introduced me to the brand, and I did love that I could have full control over designing. I love that they're a new brand, and they had no preconceived customer, and we can really develop that and bring you guys what you want.
What kind of sunglasses shape are you into for 2019?
I'm really into bigger sunglasses. I'm always obsessed with a '90s sunglass, so I made sure that I had that. Otherwise, I'm going bigger.
What are your favorite styles from the collection?
I really love this all-mirrored one. It looks really cool on. It is harder to pull off, but I just love sporty. So any of the sporty styles. And then always my '90s classic.