Donna Karan explains those Weinstein comments

The designer explained she had just got off a 14-hour flight and ‘hadn’t heard the entire story’

When Donna Karan, a prolific womenswear designer, equated a woman’s choice of clothing to “asking for” sexual harassment or assault, she was rightly lambasted.

She issued a statement shortly afterward, but Karan has now fully apologised for her input on the Harvey Weinstein scandal in an interview with WWD. In the exchange, she blames her comments about victims of sexual assault on jet lag and her friendship with Weinstein’s wife.

“I’d been in Paris, I was exhausted. I had just come from Italy and England. I had not slept for days putting the spring (Urban Zen) collection together and working my butt off,” she said. “I had just flown in from Paris and, what is it, a 14-hour trip? And I didn’t sleep at all. So I was really, really tired.”

She continued: “I heard a little bit of rumour. It was not like I had heard the entire story. It was like a complete rumour that I had heard and I didn’t want to comment on it. So I kind of weaved my way around it. I know Georgina (Chapman, Weinstein’s wife and principal designer of the Marchesa brand), I know Harvey, and I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to be commenting on it, so I wiggled my way out of it.”

This explanation stands in stark contrast to her original comments, comments she insisted were not an accurate reflection of what she believes or who she is “as a woman, as a mother”. The designer referred to motherhood multiple times to explain her moral standpoint. “If it came from anyone, it came from the mother inside of me,” she explained.

She expressed profound “regret” over her choice of language. “I am sorry. I am so sorry. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. This is not the woman that I am and that you know, and I think most women know that about me. And for those of you who don’t, I will try to show over the next years or decades who Donna Karan is.”

Karan stepped away from designing the label which bears her name two years ago. Following her comments, WWD reports that the stock of G-III, the company which owns it, took a hit.