Artist and designer Karen Lascaris is the author of In Our Own Image: Treasured African American Traditions, Journeys, and Icons, published in 2001 by Running Press of Philadelphia. She began her career designing and illustrating clothing, footwear, and accessories on the Polo Ralph Lauren Women’s Design Team, eventually becoming one of the company’s first Creative Directors. It was there that Karen developed a penchant for branding; designing under the tutelage of Mr. Lauren himself. She has designed with such notable names as Vera Wang, Missoni, Celine, Skechers, and Charles David of California.
While fashion has been an integral part of her career, Karen is by no means limiting her creative talents to fashion. As well as writing her own book, she has exhibited her fine art and photography in several shows in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles, and her work has become a favorite of collectors around the globe. Karen has also received several commissions, including a portrait of Mary McLeod Bethune for the National Council of Negro Women, and a mural for the Baldwin Hills Elementary School. Commercially, she’s created illustrations for a variety of companies such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Revlon, Rizzoli Books, Henry Holt and Sons, Lincoln Center, and United Airlines; and she is currently an online contributing writer and illustrator for West Angeles Church of God In Christ, one of the largest Christian congregations in the United States.
After coming to Hollywood, Karen was able to combine her creative skills, film knowledge, and eye for detail when she was asked by Hollywood veteran producer Stephanie Frederic and FGW Productions to join the team of “Inside Man: Denzel and Spike, Man-to-Man”, giving Karen her first credit as Producer. With FGW, Karen also worked as a Red Carpet correspondent for the 78th Annual Academy Awards.
Karen was born and raised in Neptune, NJ, where she began drawing at the age of 3. She studied at New York's Pratt Institute where she majored in Communications Design. She currently sits on the board of the Watts Village Theater Company, and also mentors women around the globe. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband.