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Donna Karan International Inc.
Founded1984 (1984)
FoundersDonna Karan
Stephan Weiss
United States
40°45′16″N 73°59′18″W / 40.75443°N 73.98845°W / 40.75443; -73.98845Coordinates: 40°45′16″N 73°59′18″W / 40.75443°N 73.98845°W / 40.75443; -73.98845
ProductsFashion, leather goods and watches
ParentLVMH (2001–2016)
G-III Apparel Group
Footnotes / references

DKNY is a New York City–based fashion house for men and women, founded in 1984 by Donna Karan.[1] The company specializes in a wide range of fashion products, including clothing, footwear, and accessories.


Karan worked for 15 years at Anne Klein, including 10 as its head designer. In 1984 Karan and her late husband Stephan Weiss were offered the opportunity to start their own business by the owner of Anne Klein, Takihyo LLC.[4][5]

The company became a publicly traded venture in 1996.[citation needed]

In 2001, it was purchased by the French conglomerate corporation LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy).[4] In 2015, Donna Karan left as chief designer at Donna Karan International, to focus on her Urban Zen brand and Urban Zen Foundation philanthropy.[6] LVMH sold Donna Karan International, with the 'Donna Karan' and 'DKNY' brands, to the G-III Apparel Group in 2016 for $650 million.[6][7] G-III, based in New York City, is a manufacturer and distributor of clothing and accessories under their owned brands, licensed brands, and private label brands.[7][8]

Donna Karan New York[edit]

Donna Karan's mainline label Donna Karan New York, also referred as Donna Karan Collection, debuted for fall 1985 with the women's collection Seven Easy Pieces, "where a handful of interchangeable items work together to create an entire wardrobe that goes from day to evening, week day to weekend, season to season".[4] In July 1991, she launched her first menswear collection.[5]

The "New York" part on the label is there to set "the pace, the attitude" of the fashion house's offering.[4]

DKNY and other divisions[edit]

Inspired by her daughter Gaby, Donna Karan founded DKNY in 1989 as a younger, more affordable diffusion line to run alongside her existing Donna Karan New York label.[4][9] Many labels and brands have branched off of the original DKNY brand/label including DKNY Jeans, DKNY Active, DKNY Underwear, DKNY Juniors, DKNY Kids, DKNY Pure. DKNY Men, launched in 1992, consists of tailored suits, dress wear, formalwear, casual wear, sportswear, and shoes.

The Donna Karan Beauty collection, which specializes in fragrances, was launched in 1992. In 2001, the Donna Karan Home collection, which includes traditional luxury bedding and accessories, and DKNY Home, which has more contemporary and fashion-forward bedding, were introduced.[citation needed]

Cara Delevingne was the face of DKNY for multiple seasons in the mid 2010s.[10] By 2017, Emily Ratajkowski had become the DKNY face.[11]


Stores opened in London in 1997 and New York City in 1999. The DKNY headquarters is located at 550 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, New York. There are currently seventy Donna Karan collection and DKNY stores globally, including twenty stores in China including Hong Kong and Shanghai, two stores in Canada including Vancouver, B.C. and Montreal, four in Dubai and also two stores in Doha. DKNY has also opened some stores in Denmark.

New shop in Athens Greece [ 30 September 2019 ].[citation needed]

Since 2005, Donna Karan has offered online shopping of its DKNY and associated lines at the label's web site. Products range from DKNY and DKNY Jeans womenswear, accessories, underwear, shoes, baby clothing, the PURE collection to DKNY menswear. The latter was available up until the spring 2002 season. Since then, only the DKNY Jeans label, underwear, eyewear and watches have been offered online for men.


In 2013, DKNY became embroiled in controversy over street photography it admitted it used in one of its stores, without permission, from the New York City street photographer Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York (HONY). After Stanton learned of the use of his photography, he publicly asked DKNY to donate $100,000 to the YMCA to help with summer programs. Amidst strong criticism on social media sites, DKNY apologized and donated $25,000 to the YMCA. Stanton then asked his followers on the HONY Facebook page to make up the difference to reach his initial goal of $100,000, which was reached on March 1, 2013.[12]

In July 2016, French luxury giant LVMH, which has owned Karan's company since 2001, even though she stayed on to run the brands—shelved her flagship line Donna Karan International shortly after she left in June 2015 and said it would "substantially increase its focus" on her DKNY brand, which revolutionized women's fashion in the '80s with Karan's "Seven Easy Pieces" concept of a wardrobe made up of a handful of interchangeable items. Today, she is looking to sell off its Donna Karan business, less than a year after the fashion designer stepped down from her namesake brand. LVMH is targeting a "single, specific American buyer" for both the DKNY and Donna Karan International businesses after several "months of disappointing performance" under its new designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne.

Negotiations are reported to be "ongoing, but a price has not yet been agreed,"[13] Since then, LVMH has successfully sold DKNY to the G-III Apparel Group in 2016 for $650 million.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Donna Karan". Archived from the original on 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  2. ^ "History of Donna Karan International Inc". FundingUniverse.
  3. ^ "Appointment at Donna Karan International". Reuters. March 13, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-03-13.
  4. ^ a b c d e " "About Donna"". Archived from the original on 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  5. ^ a b " Donna Karan". Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  6. ^ a b c "Donna Karan imagines a DKLA"; Los Angeles Times, 13 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b "G-III to Acquire Donna Karan International from LVMH" Archived 2016-11-14 at the Wayback Machine; 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Stock Quote | GIII Apparel Group".
  9. ^ LLC, New York Media (February 17, 1992). "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Cara Delevingne Now the Face of DKNY Menswear". Yahoo!. January 15, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Borge, Jonathan (August 11, 2017). "Emily Ratajkowski Uses New York City as a Gym in DKNY's Fall Campaign". InStyle. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  12. ^ Wilkinson, Isabel. "Oops: DKNY Admits Using Blogger's Photos Without Permission". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  13. ^ Pagesix, LVMH is selling off DKNY Retrieved 8 Sep 2016

External links[edit]