The mission of the Donna Karan Company, as a design driven company, is to represent the international pulse of New York in the design, marketing and delivery of a complete lifestyle system to a global customer. DKNY will apply the highest standards of creativity, integrity, quality and innovation to their products and concepts and it shows – you see a lot of people wearing fashionable DKNY clothing and accessories. The brand has built a great reputation over the past decade due to their innovation by introducing fresh fashion trends and styles year after year.
A modern system of dressing, Karan’s concept is based on Seven Easy Pieces, where a handful of interchangeable items work together to create an entire wardrobe that goes from day to evening, weekday to weekend, season to season. “I’m designing for an international man and woman. A creative person who never knows where a day is going to take them,” says Karan. “That’s why New York is on the label. It sets the pace, the attitude.”
For Karan, it’s never been just about clothes; it’s about lifestyles. She sees the entire picture from head-to-toe, from function to aesthetic. Handbags and shoes are designed right alongside the clothes. “How do I dress the leg?” inspired Donna Karan Hosiery. “The right bra?” Donna Karan Intimates. “The perfect glasses?” Donna Karan Eyewear. The list goes on to include belts, accessories and, as Karan puts it, “everything you need to pull yourself together.”
Donna Karan international has an excess of two hundred company-owned and licensed free standing Donna Karan Collection, DKNY, and DKNY Jeans stores worldwide. The first flagships opened in London – DKNY in 1994, and Collection two years later. 1999 marked the opening of the uptown New York City DKNY flagship store, located at 60th street and Madison Avenue, and two years later, came the downtown DKNY flagship on West Broadway in SoHo. Bringing it back to where it all began, in 2001 Karan opened the Donna Karan New York flagship store, the premiere collection showcase, at 819 Madison Avenue. Designed as “a serene escape from the city’s chaos,” a dramatic indoor/outdoor river rock garden runs through the townhouse’s ground floor.
Determined to seduce all the senses, Karan took on the world of beauty in 1992 under the business and creative leadership of her husband, who designed the bottles and jars for the signature fragrances and their ancillary products. The beauty division went on to introduce best-selling fragrances. Completing the lifestyle approach to design, in 2001 Karan introduced a Donna Karan Home Collection “all about touch and feel,” which includes everything from luxe bedding and candles to cashmere throws, and DKNY Home, which accents interiors with fashion-forward bedding and accessories. There are also Donna Karan and DKNY Lenox Table and Giftware collections as well.