Johnny Nunez

Karen Civil talks style, personal branding and the importance of the burgeoning fashion industry in Haiti. 

Dominque Hobdy
Jul, 01, 2016

Digital media maven Karen Civil kicked off her 2016 ESSENCE Festival experience on the Money & Power stage but along with her savvy know-how when it comes to business acumen, she’s a fashion killer!

Easily able to sashay between cool-girl laid back style and ultra glam, Karen says her style is less about her brand and labels and more about doing your thing while letting your work speak for you.

“For so long we were labeled. You’re a girly girl, you’re a tomboy, you’re this or that but now we can do what we want. One style doesn’t define me,” she said.

As a Haitian-American, Karen spoke to the heightened attention on the island’s distinctive fashion industry, saying that the exposure less about exploitation and more about exposure.

“Listen, let’s appreciate the fact that people are starting to take notice. There are so many things coming out of Haiti right now. I love it. It’s helping our economy grow and it’s shedding a light on an area that wasn’t there. It’s so needed. It’s bringing work opportunities for women in those communities. So, I’m here for it. Even when I went back, everything that I wore were created by Haitian designers. We're everywhere."

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