'Fashion Star' winner to speak on gender-neutral attire in the workplace

November 07, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A renowned fashion designer, motivational speaker and reality show winner will address how people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) can dress in a more gender-neutral manner in the workplace during a free public session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13.

Kara Laricks will present “Dress for Success! Gender-Neutral Career Fashions” in 160 Willard Building. A fashion show and light reception will follow her presentation.

As a fashion designer, Laricks draws inspiration from classical menswear. She became better known when she won the reality TV series “Fashion Star.” She has designed collections for Swedish fashion giant H&M as well as Macy’s and luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

Laricks’ unconventional and unique designs have appeared on several media outlets, including NBC’s “Today” show and HBO’s “True Blood” as well as on Style.com and in WWD, a fashion news site. She cites Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto as her main influence and includes Yves Saint Laurent and Jil Sander as other favorites.

Before becoming a fashion designer, Laricks worked as a fourth-grade teacher for 10 years.

During the run of “Fashion Star,” Laricks came out as lesbian. Today, she also works as a motivational speaker and regularly shares her personal story as a closeted teacher turned proudly public fashion designer. She’s an advocate for acceptance and inclusion of the LGBT community.

Laricks’ visit to Penn State is sponsored by the College of Communications Office of Multicultural Affairs and the African, Hispanic, Asian & Native American Student Organization (AHANA). The event is also supported by the University Park Allocation Committee.

  • Kara Laricks

    Kara Laricks has designed collections for H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated June 14, 2021