End of an Era: Donna Karan Steps Downs

Donna Karan at her fall 2015 show: Giovanni Giannoni

Donna Karan at her fall 2015 show: Photo – Giovanni Giannoni

Fashion news: Noted American fashion designer, Donna Karan, is stepping down as founder and chief designer of Donna Karan International. She will remain a close advisor to DKI under a long-term agreement but Karan plans to devote more of her time to her Urban Zen company and foundation. Says Karan: “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.”

Donna Karan launched her business in 1985 with “seven easy pieces,” a concept which revolved around a jersey bodysuit and several interchangeable items. My mother first discovered Donna Karan when she was a co-designer with Louis Dell’Olio at Anne Klein; after launching her own collection she soon became a role model to women and their needs. We both loved her simple and beautiful designs and sexy fabrics. Last year, in a discussion at The New School’s Parsons School of Design, Karan said: “For me, the body was very important — and clothing with comfort and fit. So thank God for stretch. I was the first person to put stretch into fabric.”

I called my mom to tell her the news; it was personal for us as we talked about the role that Donna Karan played in our lives.

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