From up and coming to household names, there many fashion designers across the globe that we need to know. What really is the true career path behind the scenes in the life of a top fashion designer? Is the path as glamorous as we think? Today we take an inside peek of the profile of designer Donna Karan.
Donna Karan, an International fashion designer, normally the talk of the town on any runway, originally planned on being a stay-at-home mom until an unexpected turn in her life led her to becoming the head of the Anne Klein at only 25 years of age. Today, with thirty years in the exclusive fashion industry, Donna Karen redefined woman’s fashion with her famous Donna Karan label, bringing New York chic into the mainstream.
Donna Karan (born Donna Ivy Faske) was born in Lake Forest, New York on October 2nd, 1948. Growing up with a model mother and a stepfather making a living as a suit designer; fashion was clearly an influence in her life as by age 14, she had dropped out of school and was working in a local fashion boutique selling clothes. In 1968, Karan was accepted in the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City and while attending was offered a summer job working for Anne Klein. Her work was so impressive she earned the title of Associate Designer within her first two years.
While married to second husband, painter and sculptor Stephen Weiss, she left the label and debuted her first woman’s collection in 1985. From the very beginning of career, Donna Karan’s mission was to “design modern clothes for modern people.” During this time, there was an increased number of professional women entering the workplace and as a result her timing could not have been more perfect.
In 1988, she realized the need for a more affordable women’s fashion line and launched Donna Karan New York (DKNY). This woman’s line was influence by her original Signature collection and in two years she debuted DKNY jeans. In 1992, the designer launched her first designer clothing line for men. Today there are a wide variety of products under the DKNY label from children’s clothing to furniture. In 2001, she sold her company to Louis Vuitton for a reported 600M and part of the agreement stipulated that she stayed on as the head designer.
Over the years, Donna Karan has received multiple awards – the most notable being the first American to receive the prestigious Fashion Group International’s “Superstar Award” in 2003 and in 2004 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Over the years, Karan has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2003, she became the first American to ever receive Fashion Group International’s “Superstar Award.” The following year, she received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. During the same year, she became a published author with the release of her autobiography, The Journey of a Woman. Today she is still involved in many philanthropic organizations and resides in New York.