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.
Renessta Olds, fashion editor and celebrity stylist, has a remarkable story. The fact that she has been a personal shopper for 18 years and a stylist for seven of those years, is only part of it. Because this woman is also in the process of obtaining her Master’s Degree and has visions for herself and her future. Renessta grew up in Brooklyn with strong southern ties. In fact, that is where her love of fashion and her story began …
Renessta: I always loved fashion. I grew up in the 80s, in the South, and in church; my grandfather was a minister and my uncles were preachers. At that time, southern women who went to church were very lady-like. They always came to church wearing a dress, with a hat and pearls, and a quality handbag. These were the first women who made an impression on me, and I loved it. In addition, my mother would sew; she would make my sister and me matching outfits from McCall’s patterns and fabrics that she purchased at Woolworth’s. Continue reading →
Co-founders Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin were lucky when they found Kim to join their network of professional stylists at Style for Hire*. Kim is warm, effervescent and incredibly knowledgeable in all aspects of the fashion industry. In other words, she is the quintessential fashion stylist, or “style therapist,” as Kim refers to herself. We met today and Kim shared her story with me: how she started her career in fashion, and what does it mean to be a stylist:
MKG: Kim, how old were you when you first became aware of fashion?
KIM: I must have been about six years old. My mother is, and always has been, glamorous. There is no one like my mother. She always loved wearing hats – big, statement hats: she could rival any Royal! She wore them with a dramatic flair; slightly tilted across the eye. The hat was part of the ensemble, no removing it. No second guessing the color, no tugging. And THAT’s style. Confidence in your look regardless of what labels you’re touting. Style means you wear your Payless as proudly as you wear your Prada. My mother was very brave in her fashion conviction and her courage inspired me …
As a Turk, I take full ownership of the Harem pant. Love it or hate it – it taught me about drape and proportion. No self respecting emperor would wear a tunic over a pant with such volume! My sister and I are only seventeen months apart and are very close. And while my sister took the lead in the beauty industry working as Ad Director of Vanity Fair, she is now the CEO of Glossybox. It seemed fitting that I would take the fashion route, covering our bases … Continue reading →