A passion for fashion and life

FASHION lover and mother of four children, Karen Monk-Klijnstra took a few minutes from her busy schedule to chat to Fever journalist Phindile Shozi about her life.

  • Who is Karen Monk-Klijnstra?
  • I am an offbeat and optimistic South African fashion designer with a passion for all things local and a heart that believes in the power of a dream. My design ethos is a cross pollination of my flamboyant style with a street edge. I am a mother to four bambinos and have been married for 20 years.

PS: What is your day job?

KK: I design and manufacture boldly creative clothes for spirited individuals irrespective of age, gender, colour or creed. I like to think of myself as a purveyor of dreams.

PS: What gave you the courage to be a fashion designer?

KK: As a child I loved dressing up, and being on stage, and dreamt of being a princess ballerina. Being a fashion designer followed naturally. It did help that I was exposed to it by my grandmother and mother.

PS: What do you aspire to in life?

KK: I aspire to leave a legacy of a life lived to the full, not just in my career but in the impact I make on the world and those around me. I detest pretentious people and am most comfortable with people who swim upstream and stand tall and steadfast in their beliefs and passions.

PS: When you are not dealing with fashion, what do you do to keep yourself busy?

KK: Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my precious family and dear friends. If it involves music and dance, even better. This quality time is something I celebrate and feel cannot be had over.

PS: Who inspires you?

KK: I am enormously inspired by my fellow creatives, specifically those in collaborative careers. I have many gifted friends and I stand in awe of their talent. On a personal level my faith in God, my parents and my family.

PS: When you are feeling down, what brightens up your day?

KK: My faith.

PS : What is it that you can’t get through the day without?

KK: Prayer, my specials, my dogs and gratitude for all I have, and coffee and a glass of vino at the end of a day with my love.

PS: For those who want to embark on a journey like yours, what can you say to them?

KK: Fitting is boring, be fiercely you!