Designer, Creative Head, Cosmopolitan
Born in Germany in 1967, he 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. Nevertheless, at first, it looked as if the German-Egyptian, who grew up in Germany and spent his summers in France and Italy, would follow in his parents' footsteps. Both were doctors, albeit enthusiastic about art and fashion, and Karim also began medical school. But even then his true passion was fashion, so he dropped out and went to New York, where he began studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
New York, Paris, London...
After graduating, 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.
At the same time, the creative mind was constantly working on developing his own label and, together with Alain Adjadj, designed a private-label menswear collection that was sold in all of the group's multi-brand stores.
After returning to Donna Karan New York as Senior Vice President, it was still time for a new start after 15 years in the fashion business. In search for new inspiration and fulfillment, Karim turned his creative attention to interior and landscape design and art consulting.
"Dress up – Dress Down. Day to Night. Week to Weekend."
His personal style also changed during this transition period. 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.