Donna Karan on Her Throwback DKNY High-Top Collaboration With Pony

DKNY PONY
A DKNY + PONY unisex sneaker. Earlier this year, Iconix agreed to buy the North American rights to PONY.
Courtesy photo

What’s more New York than the high-top? A new collaboration between Big Apple brands DKNY and Pony certainly cements its homegrown roots. The unisex white-on-white nappa leather sneaker is even imprinted with “Product of New York” on the tongue. Not to mention, the throwback kicks have model ambassador and #sneakerhead Cara Delevingne written all over them. Donna Karan talked to FN about the spring ’15 style, available in select DKNY stores and online in February for $225.

What was the impetus behind this collaboration?
“We share a strong connection — it’s really that simple. DKNY and Pony are both iconic New York brands. We love sneakers; DKNY started off with sneakers, after all. For our first show — spring ’89 — we used all-white sneakers with every look. For us, this is natural.”

You showed sneakers on the DKNY runway this season. How has fashion’s approach to athletic and street fashion changed recently?
“We’ve shown sneakers for several seasons now. It’s a part of our DNA. They’re DKNY’s answer to ballet flats. Sneakers give it more of a New York street vibe — high energy, graphic, always running around, more of a mix. We love the contrast of chic and sport.”

Do you personally ever wear sneakers? If so, where?
“All the time. Especially at the beach, where I’m going from one thing to another. I love anything that slips on. I’m bad with laces.”