Donna Karan chats! At her former college

08 February 2010

Donna Karan

Furry shoes? Bras worn over your top? It’s hard to be original when you’re a fashion designer these days. But Donna Karan, not normally to be found giving out interviews – made a few quite unexpected comments last week to a packed audience at her old University, Parsons, in New York. As well as candidly revealing she failed draping while a fashion student, and nearly failed High School (!) before that. She also let out that she’s fed up with the schedules.

Donna Karan is a label synonymous with elegant, wearable clothes designed for busy, fashionable women by a busy, fashionable woman. We think we’ll be hearing more about the comments which could cause a few ripples in the world of fash. Karan argues that the times of year our clothes are sold means people have an incentive to wait for the sales to shop;  

“We deliver Fall clothes in August like back-to-school, we change the calendar, we go to stores and say, 'Okay, no more getting Fall clothes in July or June so they're on sale in September when the weather hasn't changed. We have to go into a system where we're talking in-season. It's the way we eat, it's the way we dress, it's the way we think. We've conditioned the consumer to buy on sale — I don't want to buy it full price because I can buy it on sale . . . We've turned our business into the white sale business”

Now, most people who don’t work in fashion find confusing that the industry does indeed work back to front. Everyone within the industry just accepts it – because with manufacturing and distribution it takes that long to ‘turn the clothes around’ from catwalk to the shops.

Wow – if Karan’s comments were to spark some kind of change in the fashion calendar it would be a very big deal indeed.  However, on one of her other view points – that fashion shows are given too much publicity, might prove a bit of a harder sell.

“"We need fashion shows, but that's industry, it's not for the general public. All the communication has to stop. It doesn't go out on the wire, it doesn't go out on the Internet, it doesn't get out for the manufacturers to copy the designs. I mean, we're killing our own industry . . . There's too much information going out there. We have to learn the word restriction."

Stop the bloggers and silence the magazines, Ms Karan? Somehow we think that particular cat might be a leedle bit more difficult to get back into the (designer) bag!

- Naomi Attwood


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