link.png Donna Karan exits DKI, 30 years after founding company.← Back

Yesterday one of the US’s iconic designers Donna Karan announced that she was stepping down from her role of chief designer at her eponymous luxury fashion label.
After having spent 15 years working for Anna Klein, Donna Karan created the Donna Karan brand in 1984, along with her husband Stephan Weiss. Her first collection launched in 1985: called ‘Seven Easy Pieces’, consisting of a bodysuit, a tailored jacket, a skirt, trousers, a leather jacket, a cashmere jumper and an evening outfit, it soon became very popular. In a statement on Instagram, the brand honoured the designer, commenting: “Her philosophy of a sophisticated system of dressing, ‘her seven easy pieces’ revolutionized the working woman's wardrobe.”

Image source - Instagram

She stepped down as CEO in 1997 and the Donna Karan International has been in the hands of luxury conglomerate LVMH since 2001. This latest announcement means that she’ll relinquish her main duties at the company, staying on board only as an advisor. The designer has announced that she will instead focus on UrbanZen, a lifestyle label that she established in 2007 and philanthropic projects. In a statement, Karan said: “I want to express my gratitude and my deepest feelings to the dozens and dozens of colleagues over the years who have helped take Donna Karan New York far beyond my wildest dreams."‚Äč

The DKI brand encompasses more than just the Donna Karan label, since it also includes the DKNY line which is orientated at a younger audience. Earlier this year the designer duo behind Public School were named as the new Creative Directors of DKNY.
Whilst the future of DKNY may seem sorted, the future of the Donna Karan label, on the other hand, is not so settled: this separation between LVMH and the founding designer, means that the luxury fashion label will not be showing at New York Fashion Week next season.