Donna Karan Steps Down At Her Own Company

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
After 31 years of designing wardrobe staples for the modern woman, Donna Karan has announced that she is stepping down from her post at her eponymous company. WWD reported this afternoon that the 66-year-old is leaving her position as chief designer of Donna Karan International to pursue other philanthropic pursuits.

Although the move might seem sudden, Karan says — via an official press release — that she's been thinking about the change for a while. “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. 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.”

With her fall 2015 Donna Karan Collection show proclaimed as one of her best, Karan is clearly going out on top. As for the company itself, expect some shakeups. Just this April, DKI recruited buzzy designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of label Public School, to head up the DKNY brand (they'll debut their collection in September). Meanwhile, reports say that DKI will undergo a complete restructuring. According to WWD, the business will suspend the Donna Karan Collection runway show and is not currently looking for a successor. Sources also say that DKI is considering merging the Donna Karan Collection label with the youth-oriented DKNY.

Although we’re relieved to hear that Karan will still be involved in her brand — she’ll remain an adviser under a long-term contract — she’ll certainly be missed on the runway. As she said in a press release, "Donna Karan New York is a part of me, past, present, and future." We can't wait to see what she's up to next.
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