Karim Rashid was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1960; half English, half Egyptian and raised mostly in Canada. He received a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 1982 from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He pursued graduate design studies in Naples, Italy, with Ettore Sottsass and others, then moved to Milan for one year at the Rodolfo Bonetto Studio. On his return to Canada, he worked for seven years with KAN Industrial Designers. While at KAN, he also co-founded and designed the Babel Fashion Collection and North from 1985-91.
He opened his own practice in New York City in 1993. He has worked for numerous clients globally such as Nambé, Umbra, Idče, Prada, Yahoo!, Edra, Foscarini, Davidoff, Zero Disegno, Magis, Method Home, Issey Miyake, Totem, Pure Design, Zeritalia, Fasem, Guzzini, Estee Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, Sony, Magis, Edra, Leonardo, Zanotta, Maybelline, George Kovacs, Citibank, Nienkamper, YSL, and others.