Since stepping down from her namesake label in 2015, designer Donna Karan has been hard at work vamping up her Urban Zen line, a brand that focuses on wellness and artisanal goods. Though she still acts as adviser to Donna Karan International, she’s managed to stay separate from the clothing company she founded in 1984.
At Sunday's 4th Annual Ciné Fashion Film Awards in Los Angeles, Karan responded to the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, blaming women and their fashion that “asks for trouble.” Despite issuing an official statement the next day claiming her "statements were taken out of context," backlash against her and her namesake brand unsurprisingly ensued: As initially reported by WWD, the stocks of G-III Apparel Group, the parent company that owns Donna Karan and DKNY, have declined by 4.11 percent, closing at $26.61. G-III Apparel Group, which also owns Ivanka Trump’s eponymous clothing and accessories empire, acquired Donna Karan International from LVMH in December 2016 for $650 million.
Simultaneously, a boycott appeared on petition site Care2, calling for Nordstrom to remove all Donna Karan products from its stores. At the time of publishing, it's raked up 8,175 of 9,000 requested signatures.
Julie Mastrine, a spokesperson for Care2, told WWD that the site has yet to present the petition to Nordstrom, as its plans on keeping the page up longer to acquire more signatures. Despite not being aware that Karan stepped down from her company several years ago, Mastrine insists that Nordstrom still sells Karan’s perfume Cashmere Mist, and that the context of the petition focuses more on the fact that Nordstrom is still “associated” with Karan, who made the inflammatory remarks.
At the moment, little is known about how this will effect the label and its business, or how its name and reputation will recover from Karan’s victim-blaming criticism. When ask for Karan's opinion on the boycott, a spokesperson for the designer redirected Refinery29 to her official apology from Monday, noting "it is the only comment available."
We’ve reached out to both G-III Apparel Group and Nordstrom for comment, and will update this piece if/when we hear back.