29 April 2012

Donna Karan

Soft jersey separates, mannish blazers with peg leg trousers and flattering, easy to wear dresses. Plenty of choice for ladies who prefer their wardrobe to be neutral, though there are judicious splashes of colour too; coral here, daffodil there, a fuchsia print there, as if the palette was drawn from a tasteful New York florist’s shop. If you had to select a single epigram with which to sum up this brand's ethos it would be ‘tasteful’ but this is a label that has New York in its DNA (as well as its name) and besides, nobody does city chic better than Donna Karan.

The prolific designer was born on Long Island to parents who both worked in the garment industry. She is said to have started designing and even showing collections before she left High School. She worked her way up to position of associate designer at Anne Klein, then after Klein's death in 1974, took over the head designer job. After ten years at the brand she branched out under her own name, backed by investors she had met through her first job.  Since showing her first collection of minimal-with-a-woman’s- touch sparates in 1985, Karan’s expansion and rolling back of her empire has been relentless. DKNY itself is the diffusion line – younger, simpler and more affordable than mainline Donna Karan and her other ranges include menswear, eyewear, intimates, fragrance and beauty. She has over 100 stores worldwide and still lives and designs in New York.

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