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DKNY SS95
Shalom Harlow for DKNY SS95Photography Peter Lindbergh

Donna Karan reveals why she’s calling it quits

After 31 years at the helm of her brand, the legendary designer calls it a day – look back on some of her best archive campaigns

Since the birth of her brand in 1984 (when the designer ditched the popular 80s powersuits for “seven easy pieces” women actually wanted to wear) Donna Karan has been revolutionising wardrobes with collections that have garnered her both commercial success and critical acclaim. With advertising that featured A-listers decades before the Instagram era of celebrity muses – and even a woman being sworn in for President – the designer set the pace for contemporary fashion houses. 

But now, after over 30 years, the 66-year-old has decided to step down from her eponymous label to spend more time on Urban Zen – her lifestyle brand which, in addition to clothes, sells jewellery, accessories and home furnishings.

LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching,” said Karan yesterday. “I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential and follow my vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education and preservation of cultures. After considering the right time to take this step for several years, I feel confident that DKI (Donna Karen International) has a bright future and a strong team in place.”

On Instagram, the brand revealed that Karan’s memoir on her career in fashion – first hinted at last year – will be out October 2015.

While Public School's Maxwell Osbourne and Dao-Yi Chow are taking the helm at DKNY, DKI aren't looking to replace Karan at Donna Karan Collection and will, for now, be suspending its runway shows and collections. Though her days designing for the brand are now over, she will continue to be involved in an advisory capacity. It is (as she put it) her “baby” after all.

Check out the brand’s final collection below: