Donna Karan steps down, let’s recap DKI

July 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items

Donna Karan taking her final catwalk bow at her autumn/winter 2015 show

Donna Karan is stepping down as the head designer of her eponymous label Donna Karan International. The 66-year-old, who co-founded (with her late husband Stephan Weiss) the company in 1984 that now includes such famous brands as Donna Karan New York and DKNY, has decided to invest more time in her independently owned lifestyle brand Urban Zen. She will however stay active as a close advisor to the company DKI (Donna Karan International) that is now looking for a new designer.

Over the past three decades, Donna Karan has inspired women around the world to embrace their power and sensuality. ‘When she started her collection in 1985 she set out to simply make clothes for her and her friends’, the company stated this week. Yet after her launch in 1984 Donna Karan quickly made a name for herself. One year later she introduced her first Seven Easy Pieces collection. Fashion items every woman should own, like a plain pair of trousers, a body suit, a woollen sweater, a leather jacket, an evening dress. Donna Karan wanted to dress women in comfort and liberate them from the eighties power suits. She made New York uptown dressing her signature and therefore used yellow cabs as backdrops and in her commercials. She introduced DKNY for a younger customer with her daughter Gaby in mind. Donna Karan is known for her red evening gowns too, dressing stars like Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz and, most recently, face of the brand Rita Ora.

Fun facts
Donna Karan:
was born into fashion in 1948 to a model mother, who worked on Seventh Avenue.
skipped school in 1969 only to come back and get her bachelor’s degree in 1986
invented “the body” – one of the most practical eighties items
once broke both knees skiing
is a Libra and claims she can’t make decisions
launched a special Ramadan collection for her Middle-Eastern customers

“LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching. I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential and follow my vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education and preservation of cultures. After considering the right time to take this step for several years, I feel confident that DKI has a bright future and a strong team in place”, Karan said in a statement.

There will be no spring/summer 2016 catwalk show at New York Fashion Week this September while DKI is looking for a replacement for Karan.

The end of an era, but the future is bright. Now let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of her twenty years of fashion design for both DKNY and Donna Karan with our image gallery below.


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