After 31 years at the helm of Donna Karan International, Donna Karan has stepped down from her position as the company’s chief designer, WWD reports. Since founding DKI with her husband in 1984, Karan was a pioneer designer in womenswear and American fashion. Today’s announcement comes after years of consideration and “much soul-searching,” Karan told WWD, not without the help of luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns DKI. A calmer path certainly seems ahead for Karan: She’s focusing attention instead on the Urban Zen Foundation, her company centered around a “vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education and preservation of cultures.” Still, she’ll remain a “close adviser” to DKI according to a long-term agreement.
Donna Karan Collection’s runway shows will be suspended, and the company won’t seek a design successor, supporting WWD’s sources that say it may merge with DKNY in a more widely priced line. DKNY at least seems to be in good hands: Popular Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne took over as the label’s creative directors two months ago.