Donna Karan, 66-year-old founder and chief designer of Donna Karan International, announced that she is leaving her eponymous label.
Ms. Karan will still serve as the adviser to the company but will be focusing her attention and time on her other line, Urban Zen.
LVMH, the parent company of Donna Karan International, has said that they won’t be looking to replace Ms. Karan immediately and in the meantime, will suspend the main line, Donna Karan. No collection will be shown in New York Fashion Week this September.
According to an announcement, Donna Karan International will reorganize its teams and structure to “substantially increase its focus on the DKNY brand,” the company’s more accessible line, which is currently responsible for 80 percent of Donna Karan International revenue. It will also maintain its license business.
It’s quite sad. She is one of the few American designers we respect. Isn’t she a little too young to retire as well? Karl Lagerfeld is still going strong despite being in his early 80s.
However, the focus on DKNY serves as a confirmation on the current shift in the fashion trend. The brands, that are doing really well in this economy, are either premium like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein or hyper luxury such as Hermes and Maison Goyard. Or niche brands that cater to specific demographics like Urban Zen which emphasizes on wellness and artisanal goods.
Now, without having to admit that their main line is not doing so well, this serves as great business and PR decisions.