Credit: Courtesy of Karen Walker and Ari Seth Cohen

Her enviable business acumen, winning personality and inarguable talent have made her one of New Zealand’s most successful design exports, but in the unlikely event that Karen Walker should decide to give up the rag trade she can rest easy knowing that she’s all but guaranteed to find work in advertising.

Though Walker’s bold sunglasses have arguably become her most readily-identifiable design signature, surely it’s her campaigns that come a close second. Each venture further pushes the boundaries on her seemingly boundless creativity, evinced each time in a predilection for bright colours and a love of the unexpected, especially when it comes to the art of collaboration.

Her latest project, the campaign for the designer’s eponymous jewellery line, sees her reunite with Advanced Style photographer Ari Seth Cohen on the creation of Magic Hands – a series of striking and typically unconventional portraits that showcase the singular charm and stories of two striking West Coast models: pianist, fashion designer, yogi and former star of the Ballets Russes, 93 year-old Phyllis Sues, who stars alongside stylist, erstwhile Broadway dancer and great-grandmother, 78 year-old Roberta Haze.

Suffice to say, the hands do most of the talking, but it’s in the following exclusive video interviews that Walker extracts the tales behind these women and their fascinating lives. Scroll down for more from the Magic Hands shoot, including behind-the-scenes interviews with Walker and both Sues and Haze.

Credit: Courtesy of Karen Walker and Ari Seth Cohen

Credit: Courtesy of Karen Walker and Ari Seth Cohen

Credit: Courtesy of Karen Walker and Ari Seth Cohen

Tile and cover image: Ari Seth Cohen for Karen Walker