Donna Karan

Founder & Philanthropist

Urban Zen

Donna Karan, also known as “DK”, is an American fashion designer and the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels.

Born Donna Ivy Faske on October 2, 1948, in Forest Hills, New York. From an early age Donna, who grew up in Hewlett, Long Island, was immersed in the world of fashion. Her mother worked as a model while her stepfather made a living as a suit designer. Karan’s family’s influence was apparent in her early life. By the age of 14 she had dropped out of school and begun selling clothing at a local boutique. In 1968 Karan was accepted into the highly respected Parsons School of Design in New York City.While in school, Karan landed an prestigious summer job working for designer Anne Klein. Her work there proved so impressive that within two years she was named associate designer. By the age of 26, Karan, who was by then married to her first husband, Mark Karan, was named head designer. In 2001, Karan sold her publicly traded company to LVMH, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a French luxury conglomerate. Reports of the sale were said to be nearly $650 million. As part of the sale, Karan agreed to stay on as the designer of the brand. 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.

“Delete the negative; accentuate the positive!” “Women should always take care of themselves first. It makes you more equipped to take care of others.” “A challenge is an opportunity to be creative.”

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