Donna Karan was born Donna Faske in New York, NY in 1948. In 1962 she dropped out of school to sell clothes at a local boutique. At the age of 18, she attended Parsons School of Design, married Mark Karan and had a daughter named Gabrielle. She later divorced in 1983, and married her childhood sweetheart, sculptor Stephan Weiss. When Karan was 20, she had a summer job with designer Anne Klein, and eventually returned to Klein in 1970, where she garnered 3 Coty Awards. In 1974 Anne Klein died of cancer, and Karan completed Klein’s collection. Karan and Dell 'Olio grew Anne Klein into one of the largest, most profitable designer sportswear companies in the nation. In 1985 Donna went solo to start the Donna Karan Collection. In 1988 she started DKNY. Her collection was comprised of classic, coordinated work outfits, which could mix-and-match, along with accessories. Karan’s trademark is the wrapped, draped garment that is controlled and attractive but not too sexy. She rarely uses ornamentation.
In April 2001, LVMH—a French corporation--bought out Donna Karan, although she continues on as Chief Designer. Karan's impact on the world of fashion and fragrance is reflected in the fact that she sells more than $150 million per year, and has won the Coty American Fashion Critics Award four times, and the CFDA designer of the year award four times. In 2001, officials in New York City decided to honor American fashion designers by placing bronze plaques along 7th Avenue, and Karan was given a plaque in the fashion district of her hometown.
She introduced her first fragrance, Donna Karan Eau de Parfum, in 1992, as well as Donna Karan. Two years later, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist perfume was introduced to great acclaim. That same year, she introduced her first men’s cologne, DK Men, followed by DK Men Unleaded in 1995. Chaos for Women fragrance made its debut in 1996. Four years later DKNY scents for men and women were rolled out, followed by Black Cashmere perfume in 2002 and DKNY Energy in 2003. DKNY Be Delicious for Women fragrance was introduced in 2004, with the men’s version hitting stores a year later. In 2006, She introduced Gold for Women fragrance.
Her fragrance line was a solid success, particularly DKNY Be Delicious perfume, and she has demonstrated that the creative touch she brings to the realm of fashion can be translated into the realm of fragrance.
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