Michael Kors is an American Fashion Designer and Creative Director of his brand which produces men and women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, watches and more.


  1. The Origin
  2. The Céline Era
  3. Sportswear Holding Limited Acquired Michael Kors
  4. Project Runway
  5. New Lines Launched
  6. 30th Anniversary
  7. Philanthropy 
  8. Current Situation

The Origin

Michael Kors is an American designer born in 1959 and raised on Long Island, near New York City. His mother was a model. For school he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out after 9 months. He started his professional career at the age of 19, when he designed a collection for the Lothar boutique in New York, for which he started to work as sales assistant. His success with the industry was such that he was urged to start his own business.

Michael Kors in 1990s
Michael Kors in 1990s

In 1981 the Michael Kors label made its début and the first collection, based on perfectly structured luxury sportswear, was presented. It was distributed, among the others, by Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1995 he launched the line Kors Michael Kors manufactured by Onward Kashiyama USA, the brand factory of Onward Kashiyama Japan. In November 1997 he presented his first line of men’s prêt-à-porter.

The Céline Era

Michael Kors for Celine 2001 Collection
Michael Kors for Celine 2001 Collection

At the same time, Kors was appointed the designer for Céline, of which he was made artistic director in 1999. He is considered a pioneer of the minimalist style. He lives in Paris and New York.

In 1999 Kors sold one third of his company share to LVMH, also the owner of Céline. One year later, Michael Kors launched the first perfume produced and distributed by Parfums Givenchy. During this time, he opened two sales points in Madison Avenue, New York, following in 2002, more boutiques opened in Soho and Tokyo. The same year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America names Kors Womenswear Designer of the Year.

The year 2002 also witnessed the launch of Michael Kors full men’s collection. A year later the designer announced that his contract with Céline ended, he would leave the maison. The Fall-Winter Collection 2003-2004 was the last collection he designed for Celine. The announcement came only a few weeks before the renewal of his annual contract with LVMH, Kors had lead them to believe his collaboration with the group was to continue for a long time.

Sportswear Holdings Limited Acquired Michael Kors

At the same year, two entrepreneurs, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, through their company, Sportswear Holdings Limited, acquired 85% share of Michael Kors including the one-third stake in Kors’ business held by LVMH Group, the 10%  that Onward Kashiyama USA bought in 2000 and the remainder owned by John Orchulli, Kors’ long-term business partner who stay  with the firm as chief executive officer for a short-term interim.

Project Runway

Project Runway Judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Faith Hill, Michael Kors, Bryant Park. Fashion Show 2010
Project Runway Judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Faith Hill, Michael Kors, Bryant Park. Fashion Show 2010

In 2004, Kors became a judge on a new reality television show called Project Runway. Project Runway immediately became a hit show, his blunt criticisms comments were fan favorites. Kors was on this show until 2012, he announced that he would be retiring from Project Runway. By that time, the series had garnered several Emmy Award nominations.

New Lines Launched

New Line MICHAEL Michael Kors Launched
New Line MICHAEL Michael Kors Launched

Also in 2004, Michael Kors launched two new lines, MICHAEL Michael Kors, and KORS Michael Kors. These lines are sold in 350 stores in the United States offer ready-to-wear, handbags, swimwear, jeans, footwear and other accessories. Meanwhile, the company signed a contract with the Fossil to create and launch the Michael Kors watch line.

30th Anniversary

March 2011, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new flagship store in Paris opened and one dinner party, the party is full of celebrities, models, singers, editors, It girls, actresses were attended.

Michael Kors 30th Anniversary
Michael Kors 30th Anniversary

Later in this year, Kors became the youngest designer who received The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from CFDA. A year later, Michael Kors company renewed its contract to work with Fossil, besides the watch line, Michael Kors Jewelry line were set to be created.


Michael Kors Philanthropy
Michael Kors Philanthropy

Kors has always been involved in charity, fighting hunger for more than 20 years. In 2013 he partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help fight world hunger by designing the 100 Series watch. A portion of the proceeds from his special-edition timepiece helps WFP deliver food to children through its school meals program. In 2015, the designer is announced as a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, together with its customers the company  has helped deliver over 10 million meals to hungry children around the world through the programme. The company is also a longtime supporter of God’s Love We Deliver, and worked with the New York-based organization to help distribute meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.

In 2016, Michael Kors signed a major partnership with McLaren-Honda, becoming the official lifestyle partner of the world championship Formula One team for boosting the brand’s jet-set associations.

Current Situation

Michael Kors 2018 Resort Ad
2018 Resort Ad

In July 2017, Michael Kors company announced its acquirement of the luxury footwear and accessory brand Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion. In November, the brand announced that Francesca Leoni was appointed as the new Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Michael Kors brand.

Currently, Michael Kors stores are present in the most prestigious cities in the world including New York, London, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Through company owned shops and licensing partners they offer their consumer products including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, eyewear and a full line of fragrance products.


Calvin Klein is an American Fashion Designer who created the brand bearing his name in 1968 along with friend Barry K. Schwartz.


  1. The Origin
  2. CK Style
  3. Kelly Rector
  4. CK Underwear
  5. The Brand Suffers
  6. CK Acquired by PVH
  7. Brand Development
    1. New Lines Launched
    2. Store Openings & Production
    3. Kevin Carrigan
  8. Current Situation

The Origin

Calvin Klein is an American designer who founded the prêt-à-porter company carrying his name. In 1968 he opened Calvin Klein Limited, a coat shop in the York Hotel in New York City, with just $10,000. He comes from a family that owned drugstore in the Bronx. At school he made sketches of models in his math book and at home, after homework, he would practice sewing. Thus, having won over his parents’ resistance, he studied for a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in 1962. With Barry Schwartz, a schoolmate of his and Ralph Lauren, who was also born in the Bronx, helped Klein build a fashion and perfume empire. During the beginning, Lauren spent his days showing around his tie catalogue to every department store buyer, but Klein carried his sketches in a small case.

Calvin Klein at his Studio in 1980
Calvin Klein at his Studio in 1980

After five years of apprenticeship in various companies, he started his own business, specializing for a few years in the design of suits and neatly cut overcoats. In his exhibitions there’s no sense of show business. Young, tall, attractive, and impeccably dressed, he was always present where it mattered. Klein was capable of partying hard at the weekends but of turning into a very precise manager on Monday mornings, his personal image is a strong feature of his success.

CK Style

John Fairchild, the celebrated and feared editor of the only fashion newspaper (Womens Wear Daily), who could begin or end a designer, speaks of Klein as one of the world’s best designers. The writer claimed he is a real rarity in the panorama of American styling, which is characterized by an excellent cutting ability but little imagination. Also, Klein appeared on the September 1969 issue of Vogue magazine.

Calvin Klein Campaign with Brooke Shields 1982
CK Campaign with Brooke Shields 1982

Not only does he have creative talent but also advertising wisdom. In 1971 he created a strong eroticism in the campaign for the famous K jeans, which featured a very young Brooke Shields in 1971. This was the year he introduced perfectly cut sportswear garments and practical coordinates into his collections. Such as sailors’ jackets, wraps in soft rustic fabric and with a fur collar, shirts in crepe-de-Chine, striped silken blouses, sweaters, and velvet suits. His style is always very simple. He likes shades that match overlaid garments.

Calvin Klein 1993 Campaign
1993 Campaign

Through the seasons his designs continued to create the unexpressed wishes of his clientele, which contributed to the growing success of the brand. He balanced simplicity and precious touches in a sophisticated game of harmonies. His clothes focus on practicality: no useless decorations, no frills, but an elegance that always brings a second look.

A new clothing line, CK, and an underwear line are sold through a huge distribution network, supported by advertising campaigns built around the daring photographs by Bruce Weber.

Kelly Rector

At this point Klein was a star and his brand was growing very quickly, but he was also struggling with private difficulties that constantly put him in danger. So, when he meet and married Kelly Rector this was a very important time for him. Kelly had left Ralph Lauren’s atelier, married Klein and brought order to his life. They had collaborated through the end of the 70s, which was his more sophisticated and feminine aspect of his second creative period. They worked together and increased the presence of evening dresses, and introduced a greater degree of gracefulness in the day clothes. In addition, very linear jackets with squared shoulders and tight at the hips, snug blazers and very studied, simple blouses; but without giving up the sober image stressed by the restrained use of expensive fabrics.

Calvin Klein Jeans 1978
Calvin Klein Jeans 1978

Klein owes the loyalty of his customers to his careful research, the lack of complicated decorations and accessories, and the way he made his clothes. He created a cut in a way to allow the maximum wearability that was ready for mass production. It is also due to the incomparable taste of his jeans, garments that for so long were considered extraneous to the fashion world.

Calvin Klein was the first designer to receive the awards for the men’s and women’s Collections from the Council Of Fashion Designers of America in the same year (1993). In 1973 he won the Coty Award which had never been presented to such a young designer.

CK Underwear

Calvin Klein Iconic Underwear Campaign in 1992
1992 Iconic Underwear Campaign

Beginning in the 80s the brand had reached its most successful point and at this time Klein changed the American market of men’s underwear. He introduced a new clothing line CK that became a highly successful line of boxer shorts for women and a men’s underwear collection, which later grossed to $70 million in a single year. The new brand was supported by advertising campaigns built around the daring photographs by Bruce Weber.

Calvin Klein Famous Campaign with Mark Wahlberg
Famous Campaign with Mark Wahlberg

During the 1990s Calvin Klein’s head of menswear design, John Varvatos invented a new type of men’s underwear called boxer briefs, a hybrid of boxer shorts and briefs. The series became famous through a series of 1992 print ads featuring Mark Wahlberg, and have been called “one of the greatest apparel revolutions of the century”.

The Brand Suffers

In 1992, the company was close to filing for bankruptcy but remained untouched mainly due to success of the popular underwear, fragrances, and ck sportswear line. From 1997 a joint venture has linked the CK sportswear line with the Stefanel line of shops, which produces and distributes upon license in Europe and in the Middle East. Recently, it has launched a new children’s line in the European market, mixing American and European styles. Including basic jeans, denim jackets in different shades, and the permanently present T-shirts with the CK logo for little boys; and low-necked blouses or breathtaking shorts for little girls. The erotic advertising campaign that accompanied it stirred a scandal and the banning of the posters, with the accusation of being on the edge of pedophilia.

Calvin Klein Controversial Campaign
Controversial Campaign

In 1999 the brand announced it was for sale for $1 billion, but over the months there were no offer so Klein decided to take it off the market. During the beginning of the 2000s the company marketed a limited edition of the unisex perfume cK One. The three bottles were designed by three urban artists: Delta, from Holland, who created a futurist line, the graffiti artist Espo, with his long-necked women, and Futura, from New York, with the mysteries of shadows. In the Calvin Klein empire, the perfumes represent 34% of the group’s total turnover.

Calvin Klein Acquired By Phillips-Van Heusen

By 2002 the company as a whole have a turnover of $3 billion a year. In December Calvin Klein Inc. was acquired by the clothing giant Phillips-Van Heusen for $430 million cash and shares. The potential royalties, which could be between $200 and $300 million, were to be deferred over the course of the years. Klein and his partner Barry Schwartz had already tried to sell the company in 2000, but were unsuccessful. Klein remains the design inspirer of the 12 different products, for the lines Calvin Klein Collection, Ck and cK Calvin Klein.

One of the first effects of the sales is the creation of a partnership with the company Vestimenta from Trento, Italy. The company has been responsible for the distribution of the women and men’s prêt-à-porter lines, which were the first not produced inside the company. Also, Vestimenta already manufactures Emmanuel Ungaro’s women’s prêt-à-porter and Trussardi’s men’s prêt-à-porter, and has a joint venture with Giorgio Armani.

In  April 2003 the designer admitted in public to abuse of drugs and alcohol and declared he wanted to seek a cure. He had a history of drug use, and in 1988 had been hospitalized for drug problems. Because of this, later certain terms of the license linking the Calvin Klein company (already acquired by Phillips-Van Heusen) to the Warnaco group were modified, and an agreement was signed for the beachwear line, which was to become effective from the beginning of 2004.

Calvin Klein SS 2003
Spring/Summer 2003

At the same time, Fingen Apparel, a licensee of Calvin Klein Jeans, created an under-16 division designed by the stylist. The designer, 60, announced that he was no longer to follow the collections closely, but that he was to have a consultancy role (in style/administration), in collaboration with Bruce Klatsky, President and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen.

Later in October, Sara Dennis left her title as Senior Vice-President of the jeans, underwear, and swimwear sector of Calvin Klein to move to Liz Claiborne, a New York company quoted on the Stock Exchange. It was also announced that Phillips-Van Heusen intended to relaunch the clothing line cK Calvin Klein in Asia in 2004, following its suspension in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East because of poor results.

Calvin Klein Shoes Bags Advertising in 2000
Shoes & Bags Advertising in 2000

A fundamental element in this operation was the long-term license with cK 21 Hidungs Pte. Ltd for the men’s and women’s sportswear, menswear, men’s and women’s shoes, bags and small leather goods. This also favored the opening of stores and shops-in-shops in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, while franchised sales points were to be opened in Korea, Taiwan, and China. By December the first American Calvin Klein Underwear Store was opened in Prince Street, New York: a large space for men’s and women’s underwear and fragrances.

Brand Development

New Lines Launched

In January 2004 a contract was signed with the Swatch Group for the worldwide launch of a Collection of bijoux and jewels. Then in March, Robert Mazzoli became Warnaco’s Chief Creative Officer and was to control the underwear collections bearing the Calvin Klein brand name.

Later in July, a new swimwear line for young girls was launched, called Choice Calvin Klein. Also, Calvin Klein launched the new high-level line for men and women called Ck39 from the name of New York street where Calvin Klein’s headquarters and graphic studio are situated. It covers trousers, jean jackets, knitwear garments, and vintage style T-shirts.

Store Openings & Production

In November 2004 Calvin Klein Inc. elected Giuseppe Rossi as General Manager and General Director of Calvin Klein Europe. During his reign the first Italian Calvin Klein Collection store was opened in Rome. On three floors, the interior décor was by RetailDesign and the architect Paolo Lucchetta, who took inspiration from the work of John Pawson for the flagship stores of New York and Paris.

Calvin Klein Flagship Store at Madison Avenue New York
Flagship Store at Madison Avenue, New York

In February 2005, the Italian shoe factory Rodolfo Zengarini, from Montegranaro, obtained the license for the production and distribution of the women’s shoe Collection. Zengarini, already licensee of the men’s line, replaced Rossimoda.

Through 2005 there were many store opening including the first was the store in Dubai’s Wafi Mall, in partnership with Belbadi Fashion, where every article manufactured by the Calvin Klein empire can be bought. The own-brand store Calvin Klein Collection was opened in Italy, on Corso Matteotti on the corner with Via S. Pietro all’Orto in Milan. Also, Calvin Klein concluded an agreement with Finger for the opening of 50 freestanding ck Calvin Klein stores in Europe and the Middle East, and with Warnaco for the women’s swimwear.

Kevin Carrigan

Calvin Klein SS 2006 by Kevin Carrigan
Spring/Summer 2006 by Kevin Carrigan

In June Kevin Carrigan was appointed Creative Director and was responsible for the look of the men’s and women’s retail and wholesale activities, and of the design supervision for coats, jackets, hosiery, knitwear, handkerchiefs, ties, and umbrellas.

In 2006 Calvin Klein  releases the summer CK One fragrance, being this one of its best selling products. Inspired by ocean and beach, aiming at dynamic young urban consumers, this limited unisex fragrance is the third version of CK One collection.  After the success of summer CK One collection, more fragrances were launched in following years. In 2008 Euphoria eau de toilette was launched, following CK Free in 2009 and CK One Shock for man and woman in 2011.

Calvin Klein Kevin Carrigan Justin Bieber Campaign 2015
Justin Bieber Campaign 2015 by Kevin Carrigan

In October of 2012 fashion group PVH acquired Warnaco Group in a $2.9 billion deal, which means various Calvin Klein brands including Calvin Klein Jeans, Underwear lines, sports lines now all belong to PVH Group.

In 2015, according to PVH group, Calvin Klein company spent over $320 million in advertising campaigns to engage with new customers and potential buyers.  This major investment including having Kendall Jenner featured in global limited edition denim series, photo shot by established fashion photographer Alasdair McLellan.  Bringing Justin Bieber and supermodel Lara Stone for 2015 Calvin Klein global advertising campaign, this campaign was announced globally through brand’s social media, and it was spread in 20 countries covered print, digital media, outdoor billboards.

Current Situation

In February of 2016 the company announced Raf Simons as new Chief Creative Officer of the brand, his minimalist and deep connection with youth culture is perfectly align with Calvin Klein brand. In addition, it states in the contract that Raf Simons will have complete creative control in everything, from brand image to all collections.  

Calvin Klein Raf Simons First Collection
Raf Simons First Collection

In February 2017, Raf Simons made his debut with men and women’s ready-to-wear fall  collection at Calvin Klein’s headquarter in New York. One month later, Calvin Klein unveiled a new logo through its Instagram account. The new logo is designed in collaboration with English art director and graphic designer Peter Saville. According to the brand, the new logo is a “a return to the spirit of the original”.

In April of 2017, Calvin Klein launched a new campaign directed by Sofia Coppola, for its underwear line. This new advertising is truly inspiring, it is featured in Lauren Hutton, a 73-year-old model and actress, and according to Vogue it proves “there is no age limit to being an underwear model”.

Later in June, inspired by brand’s iconic fragrance Obsession, Calvin Klein launched a new fragrance for both men and women named Obsessed. The Obsessed campaign will be using Kate Moss’s iconic photography shot by Mario Sorrenti for 1990 Obsession advertising.

Calvin Klein Obsessed Fragrance
Calvin Klein Obsessed Fragrance


Donna Karan is an American designer who created Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels. Her most Successful line is DKNY which targets young, active, and urban clientele who appreciate a casual elegance.


  1. The Origin
  2. Anne Klein
  3. Her style
  4. DKNY Launched
  5. LVMH Purchases Donna Karan International
  6. DKNY PR Girl
  7. Brand Development
  8. LVMH Sells DKNY
  9. Current Situation

The Origin

Donna Karan Portrait
Donna Karan Portrait

Donna Karan is an American designer, born as Donna Faske in Forest Hills, Long Island in 1948. She decided to become a designer when very young, having been surrounded by the world of fashion from childhood, her mother, father, and uncle all worked in the industry. After high school, she attended the Parson’s School of Design in New York. She spent the Summer of her second year, working for Anne Klein & Co. She was later hired as their assistant designer.

Anne Klein

Donna Karan at Anne Klein in 1980
Donna Karan at Anne Klein in 1980

In 1974 Anne Klein died suddenly and Karan became the stylistic director at the age of 25. In 1982 she created the diffusion line Anne Klein II, which already bore her hallmark clean and modern style. Two years later these qualities were distinguished in her eponymous Collection, Donna Karan, which was the surname of her first husband who she married in 1973 and divorced immediately after. The launch of her own brand was made possible by Takiyho Inc., Japanese company owner of Anne Klein & Co.

Her Style

The Collection, dynamic and essential in style, introduced her concept of the seven easy pieces. She proposed an intelligent wardrobe composed by few interchangeable pieces, perfect to wear in every moment of the day for a working woman, to whom she looks with particular attention. The color black is still the basis of her Collections today, a non-color that she regards as a canvas ready for painting. She reintroduced the leotard, proposing it in new, tight modeling stretch fabric to wear as clothing with a jacket for the office, and with a necklace for the evening.

DKNY Leotard Campaign 1990
Leotard Campaign 1990

The versatility and simplicity of the leotard had a huge impact on the dressing style of the second half of the 1980s, when there was a renewed interest in physical fitness and the leotard was capable of embracing this. Karan’s wrapping forms are typical of her style to accentuate the feminine lines and hide its defects. She uses cashmere, preferably in black, to stimulate the senses. Since the start of brand, new lines have been launched and new stores have opened every year.

DKNY Launched

In 1988 Karan extended her women’s ‘Donna Karan New York’ line by creating a less expensive clothing line for younger women, called DKNY. DKNY is the most successful line proved through record of sales. It is medium expensive with a target young, active, urban clientele who appreciates a casual elegance.

DKNY Commercial in 1990
DKNY Commercial in 1990

Several agreements have concluded on license, one of the most important is the one with Estée Lauder for a line of cosmetics in 1997. The Donna Karan empire now includes: women’s, men’s, and children’s wear, with lines ranging from elegant to casual, as well as accessories, cosmetics, and interior decor lines. Her second husband, Stephan Weiss, who she married in 1977, manages the company. It is a business that employs 2,000 workers and is quoted on the New York stock exchange. During the 1990s, Karan embraced the New Age philosophy in an attempt to find an existential balance in her frenetic life. She said:

“Everything I do is a matter of heart, body, and soul”.

Her personal and economic involvement is very important to her on the social front. She participated in two committees for the struggle against AIDS and in a charity for the research on ovarian cancer. She has won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award on several occasions, as well as the Coty American Fashion Critics award and other awards in the course of her career. Her old college honored her with an ad honorem degree in 1987. She lectures regularly at the Parson’s School of Design and she is on the committee of directors. Several books have been written about her, her style, and her ascent to designer of international fame.

LVMH Purchases Donna Karan International

In April 2001 the designer announced the sale of Donna Karan International for the sum of $250 million. The purchaser is the French group Lvmh, which had already acquired Donna Karan’s holding company. The total sale amounts to $643 million. The brand’s headquarters remain in New York. Lvmh’s intention is to ferry the company towards a luxury market. In 2002, DKNY re- launches its kidswear in collaboration with CWF (children worldwide fashion). DKNY jeans joined the American White House’s anti-drug campaign with release of a calendar that asking celebrities what their anti-drug is. Fourteen celebrities, including musicians and actors such as Enrique Iglesias, Brendan Fehr and Jay Hernandez, were featured in the calendar.

Donna Karan DKNY Fall/Winter 2003
DKNY Fall/Winter 2003 Collection

Later in May 2003 Donna Karan International announced that it would not produce a men’s Collection for the first time since 1992. Also, a convergence of the different facets of a woman’s life were seen on the runway for DKNY f/w 2003. The schoolgirls, the career woman, the preppy, and the punk there was something for everyone. The year 2003 reflected the sidewalk of the dynamic New York City; the spring collection was a revisit to the retro tinged dressing. DKNY hosted the Vanity Fair “In concert” to benefit Step Up Women’s Network, musician Mya and actress Chloe Sevigny attend the event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The first flagship store for Japan was opened in Omotesando: Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.

In 2004 the company re-Launched the menswear collection and the unconventional location for DKNY show marked one of the most remarkable year in its history. The menswear and womenswear collection was for the Urban Dwellers, the style ambitious, the time starved: The New Yorkers. Also this year, Donna Karan International and Luxottica Group S.p.A. signed a five-year licensing agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of Donna Karan and DKNY prescription frames and sunglasses.

In 2005 Donna Karan was awarded with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to recognize her outstanding efforts in the industry. Since 2005, Donna Karan has offered online shopping of its DKNY lines at the label’s web site. Products range from womenswear, accessories, shoes, baby clothing, and the PURE collection to menswear.

Mark Weber, the former chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen, was appointed as the creative director for Donna Karan International replacing Jeffry Aronsson. The venue of DKNY show still remains a statement for the brand the 2006 spring collection was presented in Manhattan’s Classic Car Club, where models reclined amid streamlined roadsters in clothes borrowing style from the sixties.  

After the death of Karan’s husband in 2001 suffering from Cancer she felt the need to convince medical professionals to treat the patient, not just the disease, so  she established the Urban Zen foundation in 2007. Also, the company launched its first collection with Stardoll in August, an online community for female fashion lovers. In Spring 2008 brought back the seventies, the iconic jumpsuits was played with great bounce and upbeat energy.


Donna Karan Aliza Licht
Aliza Licht

Donna Karan started on social media in 2009 as one of the first luxury fashion brands to be in the space. The DKNY PR girl on twitter and tumblr, managed by Aliza Licht became a portal to engage consumers and reply to their complaints. Also, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the brand’s launch it focused on its bag collection and released seven new items each season starting autumn. Celebrations continued as the spring 2009 collection venue was switched from its usual standing-room-only to Bryant Park. This season saw a great connection with street wear than the previous seasons. The collection was embracing the momentum of fast fashion. Wearable basics with a hint of fun.

2010 was a year where DKNY launched itself into being a staple part of any girls wardrobe. It was mix of the mother-daughter style. DKNY ethos the buy now –wear now value through its collection through fall and spring 2010. Karan won the prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2010, an honor to acknowledge the work with the Urban Zen Haiti Artisan Project. Karan was honored with a Gordon Parks Foundation Award for using creative means to change and educate the world.

Brand Development

At the beginning of 2012, DKNY opened its first stores in China and Russia. The company targeted fashion-minded fans via a new Facebook application that allows users to follow the creation of the brand’s dresses from start to finish. The Atelier Facebook app gives brand enthusiasts the opportunity to learn more about their favorite dresses from Donna Karan.

The #UK2012 was a campaign started to re-open its store in London, DKNY reached out to 50 industry influencers and asked them to begin discussing it using the #UK2012 hashtag. For DKNY, #UK2012 became a trending topic on Twitter with no paid media. It was also covered by the Wall Street journal as an extremely successful campaign.

Fall menswear DKNY presented its latest menswear collection at the glass-walled Nasdaq Market Site building, the first men’s brand to do so. The collection showed a new detail with every jacket having an iPhone pocket hidden in it.

During the 2013 MET Gala, an event to which most people do not have live access, DKNY made its own Twitter Ball to invite consumers to view the live stream with the brand. The online event tagline was “if you’re not invited, you’re invited.” The event generated 408 user tweets mentioning @DKNY, @VogueMagazine and #METGala . Vogue also streamed @DKNY tweets on its Web site during the night.

Donna Karan Art Installations In Time Square
Art Installations In Time Square

DKNY expanded its outdoor advertising efforts through a variety of art installations around the world. It commissioned 10 artists from 10 cities; New York, London, Paris, Milan, Dubai, Kuwait City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo to create outdoor art that interprets New York City. In addition to the microsite, DKNY h also released an augmented reality app for iOS and Android that invites users to take photos of each work to pull up a contextual video. To spark further engagement, a 10 x 13-foot piece of 3D art in London was moved among three undisclosed locations. To find it, users had to seek out clues on Twitter and Facebook.

Though primarily a branding campaign, there is a sales tie-in: DKNY released a #dknyarts collection featuring work printed on tote bags, scarves and other items.

Donna Karan Cara Delevingne 2014
Cara Delevingne Collection 2014

2014 started with a campaign which included a special collaboration with Cara Delevingne for a capsule collection, and also an Instagram contest to find the perfect models to shoot with Cara in New York. As a result, just within the first 12 hours of the campaign, there were more than 23,000 submissions with the specific hashtags.

DKNY marked its 25th anniversary revisiting some of the line’s greatest hits, Carrie Bradshaw made pieces like the low back naked dress particularly famous during this period. Also, DKNY launched in the middle eastern market by a capsule collection during Ramadan. Partnering with notable celebrities it reached a wider audience.


LVMH agreed to sell Donna Karan International to G-III Apparel Group for $650 Million. Then, in June 2015 Donna Karan steps down from the label. Aliza Licht leaves DKNY PR girl portal following Donna Karan. Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne appointed as the new Creative Directors of DKNY. In addition, Hector Muelas was named Chief Image Office of Donna Karan International. After such huge changes the year ended by the design of the new logo of DKNY, the typeface Franklin Gothic replaced the blocky lettering, the logo was launched in spring 2016.

Donna Karan Creative Directors Dao Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne
Creative Directors Dao Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne

Chow and Osborne made attempts to retain the brand identity as being a mature womenswear brand. They decided that 40% of the global media budget will be invested digitally. This was a significant step for the brand, which invested 5 percent in digital in 2015.

The company participated in the NEW INC series, a part of DKNY’s collaboration with the museum’s New Women Project, which provides support to female artists. Also, they launched an Experiential Bus Tour Campaign for the DKNY #BeTempted Perfume Launch. It was created around a promotional bus tour that travelled across the UK with a bespoke photo experience on board.

Current Situation

Donna Karan DKNY 2017 Campaign
DKNY 2017 Campaign

In 2017 Bella Hadid is the muse for the new DKNY campaign. Also, there is a new partnership deal with Farfetch’s Black & White Division, DKNY is trying to connect with consumers on multiple levels. DKNY co-creative directors Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne exited the company January, along with DKI chief executive officer Caroline Brown.

DKNY is re-launching  its site to  accelerate e-commerce for shoppers and trying to capitalize on Farfetch’s proprietary technology. Features such as intuitive navigation, individualized messaging, wish list features, a localized homepage and a fully responsive mobile platform and offer same-day shipping in New York, London, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with Manchester to follow.


Yoneda (1955). Japanese designer who arrived in Paris in 1973 to attend the famous Studio Berµot. After her degree, she worked as an assistant to Guy Paulin and Christian Aujard, before moving to Tiktiner to design their Collection. She made her début with her own Collection in 1987, financed by the Japanese group Itokin.


Sophia (1972). Greek designer. Born in Athens, she received a Masters in the Art of Fashion at Central Saint Martin’s College in London and immediately after made her début with her women’s Collection, in which excesses as well as banality were equally banned. Later she designed a Collection for Joseph. Mandarina Duck sponsored her second show.
&Quad;2001. She was entrusted with the artistic direction of the Ruffo project for two seasons, Spring-Summer 2001 and Fall-Winter 2002-2003.
&Quad;2004, July. She designed the uniforms that the athletes were to wear during the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004.


Alfred Louis (1876-1960). American anthropologist. He tried to find cycles in the trends and variations in women’s fashions. To do that he examined prints, drawings and photographs of evening models from 1787 to 1936. His thesis was that changes are never dictated by economic reasons, but by the wish for change, and that these changes undergo fluxes and repetitions following a certain pattern.


William (1928). Photographer, painter, and American film director. Born in New York to a family of Hungarian origin, he grew up in the mean streets of Manhattan. A self-taught photographer, he likes to experiment with the use of the flash and rather exaggerated zooms to create particularly innovative new visions. In 1954, after 6 years in Paris, he attended the atelier of Fernand Léger, later spent some time in Milan where he created murals for Italian architects, and then returned to New York, where he worked for Vogue America. During this period, his book Life Is Good & Good For You in New York (Nadar Prize 1956) was published in Paris rather than New York, where he had not been forgiven for the aggressiveness of his graphics and his political commitment. After seeing the book, Fellini invited Klein to work with him, which allowed the American to get to know Rome very well, and to which he later dedicated a book. His photos stand out from those of other photographers for the use of weird locations, unexpected characters (such as dwarfs and wax statues), very ironic installations, and for the thin but evident understanding between the photographer and his model. In 1965 he gradually abandoned photography to devote himself to cinema, co-directing an important film (Away From Vietnam, 1965) with the directors Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard, and documentaries on the Black Panthers (Mister Freedom, 1965), the boxer Cassius Clay-Mohammed Alì (Cassius the Great, 1974), fashion (Fashion in France, 1985), the famous French dancer Babilée (1985), and once more about fashion with In & Out of Fashion (1993). In 2002 he published a remasterized anthology of his best 20 films on DVD with the title Messiah. In 1978, he returned to photography. In 1980 the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in 1983 the Centre Pompidou in Paris dedicated two broad retrospectives to his work. In 1994 he published the volume Mode In and Out. And in 2002 the volume Paris + Klein ideally concluded his work on cities that, since 1954, has touched on New York, Rome, Moscow, and Tokyo.


French brand of ready-to-wear fashion. Created in 1993 by Joelle Grossi, a designer from Aix-en-Provence in France. She learned the profession in her parents’ boutique and by working for Lacoste. She designed a romantic fashion in the simplicity imposed by the ritual wardrobe of men.


Bill. American photographer. At a very young age he cultivated a passion for painting, but then turned to photography, inventing an immediate and simple style. After moving to Europe, he settled in Paris and, from 1965 to 1971, he lived in London, where he made his name publishing in the English edition of Harper’s Bazaar and then also in Cosmopolitan and Elle, working for Ferré, Laura Biagiotti, Armani, Valentino, Diesel, and others.


Delphine. French designer and stylist for the shoe brand Facteur Céleste. Her passion for “zoris,” — Japanese thong sandals, which in Céleste’s Collections are available in hundreds of versions, fabrics and models — originates from a visit to the Shoe Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1994. Tetsuo Ushioda, the museum’s curator, told her the history of these traditional shoes and Delphine returned to France with zoris on her feet (she wears them all year round) with the idea of developing a Collection starting from a single type of slipper. Every Facteur Céleste thong sandal represents the safeguarding of now disappearing craftsmen’s traditions, as is the case for the manufacturer of espadrilla soles, and damask fabric dyers. In China she has set up a factory to produce special socks to wear with the slippers.