Karen Walker is not one to stick to the rules. We’ve long been fans of the New Zealand-based fashion designer’s collections and her cool, utilitarian style. 

True to form, Walker recently announced that the brand would no longer hold runway shows during New York Fashion Week – which it has been doing for the past 20 seasons. In a piece for the Business of Fashion last month, the designer expressed her desire to challenge the existing fashion system. “We’re constantly seeing evidence of the effect that the industry’s demands, timelines and sheer scale have had on the creatives who are burnt out, on the consumer who’s either overwhelmed or spoiled, and on the planet, which is groaning under the pressure of our over-consumption,” she wrote.

Walker is in London this week to launch her new Superstars collection of sunglasses. Unlike other luxury sunglasses, the frames don’t have an official logo (not even the label name) but an arrow motif. It’s this offbeat and individualistic streak we’ve come to know and love, which is why we can’t wait to get our hands on her latest collection, available now at Liberty London. The new season styles include old favourites – the Harvest and Super Duper shapes – as well as newer styles One Orbit, Moon Disco, Cosmonaut and Star Sailor, which use wild tortoiseshell pattern and rose-gold mirrored lenses.

Caption: Karen Walker (centre) in front of her sunglasses display inside Spring restaurant at Somerset House 

Below, we’ve asked the fearless tastemaker about her top things “to-do” while in London.

Spring restaurant at Somerset House

"This is a dreamy spot for lunch – their burrata with broad beans is very hard to beat. Plus their dreamy lighting – all peachy and diffused in a soft pink, rose gold and dusty pistachio interior colour-palette is so calming and delightful. I also hosted breakfast there last week where we had a pink 'sunglasses tree' installation in their beautiful atrium. I just love it there."

IDEA Books at Dover Street Market

There is always, ALWAYS, something here that’ll improve my library. My last few purchases include David Hockney and Irving Penn classics. 

Liberty London

Just because it’s always amazing. I adore their estate jewellery and beauty departments – the chocolate room is pretty tempting too! And, of course, all the Liberty stationery and small leather goods are very hard to walk past without buying. But for me, obviously, the eyewear department with Karen Walker in pride-of-place is the best spot in the store. 

Granger & Co.

When I’m in Notting Hill, it’s my must-stop spot for coffee – some of the best in London. Bill’s an old mate and I do love to pop in and say hi any time I’m passing by. 

London’s parks

I have a rare Saturday off in London this week and looking forward to spending it exploring Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens by bike, boat, foot – and maybe even horse. Regent’s Park though, is my absolute favourite of the London parks. For me, nothing beats wandering through the formal parts of the garden at dusk on a spring evening, enjoying the last burst of spring courtesy of the blossoms and chestnuts.

National Portrait Gallery


One of my favourite places in London – there’s always something worth seeing there. I’d like to visit the Russia and the Arts show they have on at present – I love a 19th-century portrait of a Baroness. 

The New Craftsman

I love to pop in to this luxury craft shop when I’m in London – I can always pick up something for those difficult-to-buy-for people. My last two purchases from there were How to Wrap Five Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging and a pair of Ernest Wright and Son’s 24-karat gold-plated floral scissors."

Karen Walker’s Superstars collection of eyewear is now available at Liberty London.