Openly lesbian designer Kara Laricks came out on top as the winner of the first season of NBC's Fashion Star. Her winning prize is a six million dollar contract with merchandisers Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M to sell her capsule collection designs featured on last night’s finale.
After struggling in the first week of the competition, Laricks has shined in each challenge since. Laricks left her job as a fourth grade teacher in New York to compete and has spoken several times about her students being her inspiration, while naming her partner Melissa as her biggest supporter.
“This is an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is and really show all of those former students that you can do it, regardless of sexual orientation,” she says in an interview with AfterEllen. “That's just a small portion of my life. I'm a former teacher, I'm a daughter, I'm a sister, all of those other great things, in addition to being a designer and a lesbian. I really hope that my face will make it into living rooms across America as just another person who is really following her passion.”
Watch Laricks first interview as America's First Fashion Star below.
The Kara Laricks Collection can be bought now at Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, H&M and their respective websites. Her accessory line, Collar, Stand + Tie, can be purchased in her online store. Laricks can also be found on twitter and facebook.