Karim Guest New York, a fashion brand committed to sustainability and to respect the environment and nature, has announced plans to launch a new collection in 2020 that will only use Fibre Nobili 100% cashmere yarns and 100% Merino Wool yarns, which will be completely untouched by any dyes and bleach.
“These yarns are left exactly as they exist in nature from the fleece of the goat and sheep they come from, reflecting the beauty of these untouched hues and colour. All styles produced are completely sustainable and pure,” says Karim.
Born in Germany in 1967, Karim was drawn to the retail trade at the age of 16, where he came into contact with fashion buyers and shortly thereafter began working as a freelance designer for a private label collection. After graduating New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, he went to work for some of the fashion greats: at Donna Karan New York he was responsible for menswear global sales. He then moved to Paris to work for Group Alain Adjadj, at the time the largest private retailer of luxury brands in France, Monaco, and Great Britain.
As head of new business development, Karim was responsible for getting labels like Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Kiton, Voyage, and Gian Franco Ferre to open their own brand-name stores in Paris, London, and Monte Carlo.
Pure, clean and sustainable
Back in his fashion business days, Karim wore mostly made-to-measure suits and shoes. But after long stays in New York and especially Los Angeles, he incorporated the influences of both cities into his fashion DNA. Cosmopolitan New York and laid-back Los Angeles have both influenced Karim‘s style.
T-shirts, V-neck cashmere sweaters, chinos, and sneakers have become his chosen work uniform. Most of the pieces were made by his tailor in New York. His requirements: be comfortable and casual while on the road, while still making a statement with pieces of the highest quality. After being repeatedly asked by clients where he buys his clothes, he finally decided to launch the luxury Karim Guest label. His inspiration: translating comfort and a relaxed feel into a high-end, top-quality look compatible with doing business.
Made in Germany is the new cool
“I design modern and clean luxury fashion. I am constantly on the move. I live in New York and also spend time in Los Angeles and Berlin,” says Karim. “I love the urban clean silhouettes of Manhattan, the relaxed attitude of Los Angeles and the fantastic colours I see in the art galleries of Berlin.”
“My collections reflect these impressions of mine. They are also influenced by a lifestyle of traveling – I like to be comfortable in my clothes. I want quality in the products. I found a manufactory in Thuringia, Germany that helps me realize my collections. It is very important to me to see the men who wear my designs, not the clothes… they are just here to make you feel good and at ease.”
Thuringia meets New York City
What does tranquil Mühlhausen have in common with jet-setting metropolises like New York and Los Angeles? Designer Karim Guest‘s first collection bearing his own name. The knitting machines in this small town in Thuringia are currently working at full speed to produce the designs created by Karim Guest in the USA.
To produce his new luxurious collection of knitwear featuring clean lines, the designer sought a partner with expertise and experience. Coincidentally, his long-time friend Anton Schumann acquired a knitwear factory in 2017. “We found that we shared the same demands for sustainability, production standards, and quality. We quickly agreed that working together would offer huge potential for both brands,“ commented Karim.
“A partnership with a luxury fashion label like Karim Guest gives us the opportunity to exploit and further develop the full spectrum of its existing expertise in the field of exclusive yarns and elaborate knitting and finishing techniques,” said Anton Schumann.
Together with Karim Guest and his first premium knitwear collection, the manufactory is opening a new chapter in the company‘s history. For the first collection, only cashmere from Fibre Nobili and top-quality merino extra fine yarns from premium manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand are being used. A distinct wash finish was developed for each yarn, giving the collection its unique feel and softness.
The company was founded in the traditional textiles town of Mühlhausen in 1990. In addition to its own brands, the textiles manufacturer produces ladies’, men’s, and children’s clothing and home goods for numerous well-known brands in the high-end segment.
Around 60 highly qualified employees bring their many years of experience and technical precision to their work. Finishing, knitting, sewing, warping, cut design, programming the knitting machines, and product development are part of the extensive range of services offered by the factory. The range of knitting production services includes flat knitting, inlay, ajour, jacquard, coarse and fine knitting, embroidery, and printing.
Karim Guest New York fashion brand is committed to sustainability and to respect the environment and nature. The vision for his knitwear collection was that of a modern, clean and sustainable luxury menswear line produced in Germany using only the best luxury yarns available, combined with the highest standards of craftsmanship. But this was not Karim’s the ultimate goal – together with his business partner Anton Schumann, he wanted to create a platform for creative minds, giving them the possibility to design and realise their own authentic collections which also follow his standards for quality and craftsmanship.
Karim Guest is the Creative Director of The Guestlist and builds every collection together with each of the designers. Anton Schumann is the CEO of The Guestlist. “We at THE GUESTLIST believe that business and sustainability go hand-in-hand. “It is a given” that these are inseparable factors essential for growth, leading to a long-term success,” the brand explains.
Michael Halpern and Jennifer Joanou, better known in the spheres of interior design and the creative arts, were exclusively invited by Karim Guest New York earlier this year to become part of The Guestlist, a creative platform for select designers to make their debuts into the world of fashion through the uncompromised values of quality, luxury and sustainability.