Crafting Luxury: Karine Dubner’s Artisan Approach to Brochu Walker

When it comes to ready-to-wear (RTW) fashion, few narratives shine as powerfully as that of Brochu Walker, a brand synonymous with mindful luxury and understated elegance. At the helm of the brand is Karine Dubner, an entrepreneur whose rich heritage in the South of France’s artisanal culture informed her distinctive approach to fashion.

Karine, born and nurtured amidst the craftsmanship and stunning landscapes of the South of France, brought more than just her background to Brochu Walker; she brought a belief in the power of simplicity and mindfulness in design.

In 2013, with a deep passion for fashion and an ambitious spirit, Karine acquired Brochu Walker when it was merely a whisper in the fashion industry. Today, Brochu Walker stands as a testament to Karine’s philosophy of integrating minimalism with practical luxury, where each piece is a thoughtful expression of the wearer’s identity.

Check out the full interview below.

What initially drew you to Brochu Walker and motivated your decision to purchase the brand in 2013 when it was relatively unknown?

Karine Dubner: I was ending a chapter and wanted to start a new one. I decided my next step was to be a business owner. I felt strongly I could turn around an existing business – Brochu Walker felt right because of its aesthetic and loyal customer base.

How has your upbringing in the South of France influenced your approach to design and luxury fashion?

Karine Dubner: I grew up in a world defined by timeless craftsmanship, beautiful landscapes, and a strong culture. My early years defined my view of what is luxe, a ‘quiet’ sensibility, a sensual, feminine nature and acute attention to detail.

My vision for Brochu Walker is that it always goes beyond fashion and seasons.

Brochu Walker: The Havana Dress Tropical
Brochu Walker’s Tropical Havana Dress

What do you believe sets Brochu Walker apart from other ready-to-wear luxury brands?

Karine Dubner: Brochu Walker is the definition of ‘luxury to live in.’ It combines quality and effortlessness that allows the woman to shine in her daily life.

Our styles always have a sensual nature and attention to the smallest detail. It is how the pieces make a woman feel…feminine, confident, and polished.

Could you describe the core values that define Brochu Walker under your creative direction?

Karine Dubner: I love beautiful things that last. I appreciate detail and strive to create pieces that do not always feel like your everyday items but can be.

Our core design values are simple: We design timeless pieces that are always relevant; we make luxury accessible; we infuse each style with an emotional quality that embraces femininity; and we always strive to reduce our impact on the environment.

Brochu Walker: The Lanai Knit Dress
Brochu Walker’s Lanai Knit Dress

How has Brochu Walker evolved since you took over, and what changes are you most proud of?

Karine Dubner: When I purchased Brochu Walker, it was just a knitwear brand, and while knitwear remains an important part of the collection, turning Brochu Walker into a luxury lifestyle brand has been such a fulfilling milestone.

I get satisfaction from every new category we introduce, all while keeping the brand profitable. Brochu Walker is my life’s passion.

Creating a brand that reflects your own sensibilities must be rewarding but also challenging. What has been the most challenging aspect of this, and how have you navigated it?

Karine Dubner: I can’t think of any particular challenge besides the long journey itself: 10 years in
the making.

It took a while to trust my gut and find the confidence in myself to make the big decisions. I can say now that I really listen to my heart and, of course, the numbers.

Can you discuss a specific piece or collection that deeply resonates with your minimalistic view of fashion and why?

Karine Dubner: I always wear the Everyday Shirt. I love it! Our signature gros-grain detail and the simplicity of the design sets it apart. These are the elements that are important to me. I also believe that ease of wear is a must.

Our Havana Dress is another iconic style… it represents everything Brochu. Simple yet elegant, luxe and detailed, yet easy to wear. Colorful and versatile, yet feminine.

Brochu Walker: Havana Dress
Brochu Walker’s Havana Dress

You’ve emphasized craftsmanship in your background. How do you ensure that the craftsmanship values you grew up with are preserved and showcased in Brochu Walker’s offerings?

Karine Dubner: It starts with the material we select. We put lots of effort into finding materials with the right texture. When the prototypes arrive, we spend so much time “making it Brochu.” I call it “the Brochu Walker love.” We put our creative minds together to make it special.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. How is Brochu Walker addressing sustainability in its practices and collections?

Karine Dubner: To reduce sample waste, we edit our collections down as much as we can, and we limit our new product drops to 10 times a year instead of every month.

We work with sustainable vendors and mills committed to animal welfare, and we give back to our planet by buying water certificates that restore water in the US. To date, we have restored over 60 million gallons of water, which I am very proud of.

We also use compostable packaging and recycled or eco-fibers whenever we can. Yet we know there is always more we can do.

Looking ahead, where do you see Brochu Walker in the next five years, and are there any specific goals you’re working towards?

Karine Dubner: I pride myself in the goals I set for the company and achieving them. A few that come to mind are expanding our brick-and-mortar presence, launching in Asia (one of my favorite places), and hitting $200 million in annual sales.

What advice would you offer for those aspiring to enter the luxury fashion industry based on your experiences and success?

Karine Dubner: Everyone’s journey is so different, but I can say that for Brochu Walker, establishing a loyal customer base that recognizes our quality year after year has been a critical part of this journey.

And, like anything in life, a commitment to consistency, hard work, and conviction in your decisions will lead you down the right path. One last bit of advice: as our world evolves, having strong ethics and a conscious view of the world are the basis of continued success.

Lastly, is there a specific mantra, quote, or affirmation that you hold close to your heart?

Karine Dubner: “Life is Beautiful.”

This keeps me going no matter what. It’s very personal to me as I am Jewish: AM ISRAEL CHAI.

Visit Brochu Walker online here:

Published in Featured Articles, Featured Women
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Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.

Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site