Karen was born in the Philippines and grew up between Melbourne and Manila. She earned her BA degree in Communication Arts in Manila in 2006 and later graduated from an MA in Contemporary Fashion Design at IFA Paris in 2015. Her graduating show defined her signature style - innovative, graphic yet organic and playful. She was a top 20 finalist for the LVMH Prize for Graduates 2015, and won the E-Fashion Awards 2015. Supported by her former school IFA Paris, Karen launched her self-titled label in June 2015.