Celebrated American designer Donna Karan is stepping down as the creative director of her namesake company Donna Karan International.
Together with parent company LVMH, the designer announced today she was planning to spend more time with her Urban Zen Company and Foundation.
“LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul searching. 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 has a bright future and strong team in place,” said Karan in a statement.
Pierre Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH Group said in a statement: “Since 2001, LVMH and Donna Karan have partnered to develop Donna Karan International into a global business. It has been a privilege for all involved to collaborate with Donna and we are very pleased she has agreed to remain an advisor. We are committed to fully realizing the potential of the company while staying true to the spirit and value Donna has championed.”
Karan and her late husband founded the company in 1984 along with Takiyho Inc. DKI went public in 1996 and then in 2001, LVMH acquired the label for $243 million for all outstanding shares and $400 million for Gabrielle Studio Inc., the licensor of the label’s trademarks.
According to the company, it will not seek to replace Karan as chief designer of Donna Karan collection in the near-term. It will also suspend runway shows and collections for a period of time.