Donna Karan Steps Down as Head Designer

After more than 30 years as the head of Donna Karan International, fashion industry icon Donna Karan is departing her position as the brand’s head designer.


WWD first reported the news that Karan, 66, would be stepping down. In a statement, Karan said that she plans to spend more time expanding her philanthropic initiative, the Urban Zen Foundation. She will still remain an adviser to Donna Karan International.


“”LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching, 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,” Karan told WWD. “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 is a part of me, past, present and future. It has been an honor to speak woman to woman about ‘Seven Easy Pieces’ that forever changed the way women dress. I want to express my gratitude and my deepest feelings to the dozens and dozens of colleagues over the years who have helped take Donna Karan New York far beyond my wildest dreams.”


Karan’s announcement comes a few months after major changes within the company, including the appointment of Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, founders and creative directors of Public School at DKNY, replacing Jane Chung.

According to WWD, LVMH will not appoint a new designer imminently, and will suspend the brand’s runway shows and collections for now.


Images + Information via DKI