There’s an important reason you’ll only ever see Karine Tawil wearing her own label – Karoline Lang – and it’s got nothing to do with ego. “I decided to stop shopping a couple of seasons ago and exclusively wear my brand,” the Lebanese fashion designer explains. “It helps me to put myself in my clients’ shoes and better understand and forecast their needs. It’s also boosted my creativity. I only shop for shoes, bags and accessories now.”
One weakness she does admit to, however, is a love of trainers. “I’m a sneaker freak,” she laughs. “New Balance, Golden Goose, Nike, you name it, you’ll find it in my closet.” Describing her personal style as clean, sleek and confident, it’s little wonder she’s also very attached to a vintage YSL tuxedo jacket. “It’s strong, architectural and modern,” she says.
While the creative director and owner of Karoline Lang – her Austrian grandmother’s name – started the label in 2010 with one dress, 2016 will see Karine complete six collections. “I’m working on two ready-to-wear, two couture and two bridal collections,” she says, explaining that she wants her clients to be able to turn to Karoline Lang for every event.
Using fabric mostly associated with menswear for her ready-to-wear and couture collections – think heavy cottons and structured linens – Karine wants women to feel “safe and secure” in her garments. “I have a strong desire to protect women with my creations. I want the women who wear my pieces to feel like it’s an armour surrounding them.”
Perhaps that maternal instinct comes from her own mother’s style advice. “She told me to always dress for myself,” the designer says. “You really need to own it. Own your confidence, own your identity, and own your style.”
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence