St. Louis–based designer Laura Kathleen Baker (who also goes by “LK”) began working on her career in fashion when she was 8 years old. After years of designing and constructing garments for herself, she attended Western Kentucky University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in design, merchandising, and textiles. She also studied fashion design at the Accademia Italiana in Florence, Italy.
After working as a director of clothing and accessories for Target in the Nashville area, Baker moved back to St. Louis and began professionally designing. Once she developed a presence in the fashion industry, she competed on season 9 of Project Runway and finished as a top five finalist on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The New York Post declared Laura Kathleen as the suspected winner. After PR season 9, Laura had the opportunity to compete on season 2 of Project Runway All-Stars, where she finished in the top six. Baker now casts the show’s new designers with Lifetime and has also provided commentary on “Road to the Runway.”
Baker created a fashion program at a high school in St. Louis where she serves on the board of directors. Each year the program hosts a fashion show fundraiser in which the students model their own creations. The show is now the Lift for Life Gala: Celebrating Success and is the school’s largest fundraiser.
Beginning in 2015, Baker became an adjunct professor teaching various courses at Washington University while being a mom to her two daughters. She continues to consult in the fashion and art world while working in the family business, Exotic Motors Auto Group.