The Donna Karan Label is Back
Before there was “quiet luxury,” there was Donna Karan. She was the blueprint, as the kids say, advocating for an American woman’s wardrobe that was sharp and sophisticated, with a keen understanding of women’s bodies and how women wanted to dress. After working as a head designer for Anne Klein for a decade, Karan debuted her first solo collection in 1985. It featured the now-famous Seven Easy Pieces, which included bodysuits, draped wrap skirts, and tailored jackets meant to fit perfectly and flow easily with the wearer’s style. From there, she built one of the industry’s most successful fashion businesses, one that helped define a way of dressing deeply rooted in personal style rather than passing trends.
This season, to the delight of Donna Karan fans, the brand is making a comeback. Donna Karan New York, which was acquired in 2016 by G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., is relaunching with a collection of ready-to-wear inspired by those original Seven Easy Pieces, a lineup designed for our increasingly complex, ever-mobile lives. Though Karan herself is not directly involved in the reboot, she has given it her blessing. The in-house studio team mined the archives (also now owned by G-III) to reimagine Karan’s signatures. The size range starts at 0 and goes up to 14.
The campaign for the relaunch, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, stars an incredible array of supermodels who were members of Karan’s fashion universe at one point or another in their careers, including Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Shalom Harlow, Carolyn Murphy, Liya Kebede, Imaan Hammam, Amber Valletta, and Karlie Kloss. “I think the allure of Donna Karan’s designs is that they are timeless shapes and silhouettes that one can mix and match,” Valletta says. It’s a sentiment echoed by Kloss, who says she’s admired Karan her whole career. “Not just for her vision and passion,” Kloss explains, “but for how she has always empowered women through her artistry.”
Brooke Bobb is the fashion news director at Harper’s Bazaar, working across print and digital platforms. Previously, she was a senior content editor at Amazon Fashion, and worked at Vogue Runway as senior fashion news writer.