After a year of rumours it has finally been confirmed, Donna Karen has stepped down as chief designer of DKI (Donna Karen International).
Karan was born in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City. She graduated from Hewlett High School in 1966, and then went to the Parsons School of Design. After leaving college, Karan worked for Anne Klein, eventually becoming head of the Anne Klein design-team, where she remained until 1985, when she launched her Donna Karan label.
Karan began her career as an assistant designer with Anne Klein in the late 1960s, where she was promoted to associate designer in 1971. When Klein herself died in 1974, Takihyo Corporation of Japan became the new owner and Karan, together with her former classmate and friend Louis Dell’Ollio, became head designer of the house. In 1984, Karan left Anne Klein and her then husband Stephan Weiss and Takihyo Corporation, started her own business “to design modern clothes for modern people”. She showed her first women’s clothing collection in 1985
“LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching,” said Karan in a statement. “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.”-Donna Karan.