'Fashion Star' crowns Kara Laricks its winning first-season designer
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/16/2012
Fashion Star crowned Kara Laricks its first-season winner during Tuesday night's finale broadcast of the new reality fashion design competition on NBC.
"I feel so overwhelmed. I don't know what to say. I'm so thrilled and I'm most thrilled with the opportunity to keep going! -- to continue designing! It's just fantastic. This is so thrilling. This is my dream come true," Laricks said after her victory announcement.
Laricks, a 38-year-old from New York City, NY, beat out fellow finalists Nzimiro Oputa, a 28-year-old from New York, NY, and Ronnie Escalante, a 32-year-old from San Francisco, CA. However, Fashion Star did not reveal which designer placed second and third.
Laricks became champion after Fashion Star's three first-season finalists participated in a fashion show in which they each had to create and present three full head-to-toe looks for each store -- Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M -- which meant nine ensembles total for the remaining designers.
Clothing buyers Nicole Christie, Terron E. Schaefer and Caprice Willard were then responsible for selecting the winner while taking into account the feedback offered from celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos. At the end of the night, home viewers could purchase the designers' full collections online.
As the winner ofFashion Star, Laricks will have her collections featured in Macy's, Saks and H&M -- a prize worth $6 million total after Willard, Schaefer and Christie purchased her designs for $2 million apiece.
During last night's finale broadcast, H&M's Christie told Laricks she loved her colorful two-layered maxi dress due to the fact it could be considered high fashion but also commercial. Schaefer, a Saks Fifth Avenue representative, thought the designer's white and brown tailcoat was beautiful and he thought her long tan-colored dress with a white ribbon to accentuate the back of the ensemble was "stellar."
In addition, Macy's Willard believed Laricks' line had a place on her store's contemporary floor, especially the white suit with a pink and black polka-dotted blouse. She believed every single piece of her collection could ultimately stand alone.
Earlier this week, NBC announced it has renewed Fashion Star for a second season, which will debut in early 2013 and air on Sunday nights after The Celebrity Apprentice.