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Donna Karan Label Revived From Hiatus Under New Ownership and Lower Price Point

Donna Karan Label Back
CREDIT: DONNA KARAN NEW YORK

Donna Karan New York, the trailblazing label beloved for its effortless wardrobe concept...

Returns under new ownership nearly a decade after founder Donna Karan departed her namesake company. The relaunch arrives courtesy of parent company G-III, which plans to reestablish the brand as a more accessible contemporary line with pricing maxing out at $599. To reintroduce Donna Karan’s signature sophisticated style for today’s career women, the label is reinventing iconic archived looks from its 1990s heyday when the flexible mix-and-match aesthetic revolutionized womenswear.

Brand History and Decline

The newly resurrected Donna Karan occupies rarefied air as a womenswear legend. Launched under the ingenious creative leadership of its titular founder in 1984, the label pioneered an elegant take on interchangeable wardrobe building blocks. Donna Karan New York invented a lexicon around unfussy pieces like bodysuits, culottes, and dusters designed for non-stop multitasking women scaling new career heights in the 80s and 90s.

While the effortless layering concept and sophisticated sensuality connected profoundly with legions of striving working women, the prohibitively elite designer pricing proved an insurmountable obstacle as the 2008 recession neared. Unable to diffuse its high-fashion aura as tastes gravitated toward minimalism and casualization, Donna Karan struggled to capture wide appeal. With sales dwindling, the company traded hands among licenses and ultimately languished without a permanent creative director before falling dormant around 2016.

Streamlined Relaunch for Modern Market

Now under owner G-III Apparel Group, known for its tailored apparel expertise and portfolio of other revived classics like DKNY, Donna Karan New York returns with its first collection in over five years. However founder Donna Karan retains no involvement with the reconstituted company. Instead, the design team dove into the archives to remake evergreen favorites from the label’s 1990s glory days for today’s working women.

While staying faithful to the brand’s DNA of sophisticated polish and versatility, crucial strategies remake Donna Karan as a more accessible contemporary label. The defunct ultra luxury pricing gets swapped for caps under $600 to attract aspirational shoppers. Silhouettes also adjust for post-power suit tastes, with relaxed updates to soften stately tailoring.

Ultimately the revival constitutes a full-circle moment reconnecting a storied label with its intended audience. By dusting off iconic retro designs and imbuing effortless polish at friendlier prices, the new Donna Karan has potential to regain contemporary currency and once again become modern women’s de facto uniform.

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