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August 22 2014

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According to Karen Walker, the Kids Are All Right

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Karen Walker's Spring '13 campaign

Never work with animals or children, or so goes the showbiz adage. That old warning didn’t seem to phase New Zealand-based designer Karen Walker, who debuted the second half of her Spring ’13 eyewear campaign, “Karen Walker Forever,” today. The first installment, lensed by Advanced Style‘s Ari Seth Cohen, featured women between the ages of 65 and 92 wearing Walker’s graphic, quirky, and often electric-hued shades. The second’s cast, however, comprises four cute-as-a-button kids ages 3 to 5. “We always wanted to do sort of a bookend campaign about optimism,” Walker told Style.com. “The first shoot was based on eternal optimism, and the second part is about the open-eyed, playful optimism that kids bring.” Shot by Derek Henderson, the snaps debut four new black, white, and silver styles (including cat-eyes, rectangular frames, giant spheres, and ovals), some of which feature filigreed trim and mirrored cobalt lenses.

Karen Walker's Spring '13 campaign

As for the models’ behavior? “They were so professional. And they just came in and did the job, and they were lovely to have around. It was a real pleasure,” offered the designer. Still, that doesn’t mean it was easy—it took four-and-a-half thousand frames to achieve the final eight images. “You’ve got to let kids do what they want to do and just be there to capture it. We just wanted them to be themselves,” explained Walker, who has a 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Valentina. “People have asked me why I didn’t use her in the shoot, and I tell them it’s because she’s completely uncontrollable!” the designer lovingly said with a laugh. The wee one is apparently a big fan of her mother’s shades, though: “She had a formal school photo the other day, and when she woke up, she said, ‘I’m thinking about what I can wear that will be fashion. And I’m thinking purple sunglasses,’” recalled Walker. “I had to break the news to her that she wouldn’t be allowed to wear sunglasses in the picture. But she loves dressing up, and she lets me do all her wardrobe selection. She’s always an inspiration.”

Karen Walker’s new sunglasses will hit stores on September 5.

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