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Biography of Donna Karan      

Obsessed with fashion from an early age, Donna Karan is now one of the biggest names in fashion design. Donna has been designing for over 25 years, working with such names as Liz Claiborne and Anne Klein.

Born as Donna Faske in 1948 in Queens, New York, both of her parents were involved in the fashion business. Her father Gabby sold men's clothing in his store, while her mother Helen was a showroom model and sales representative. Donna began experimenting with fashion while still in high school by working for Liz Claiborne as an intern during the summer . She later attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, and worked with Anne Klein while she attended classes. After graduating from Parsons, Donna began working full time with Klein as an associate designer from 1971 until Anne's death in 1974.

After the death, Karan was named Klein's successor and partnered with fellow designer Louis Dell'Olio to design the Anne Klein Collection. After success with that line, Karan independently created Anne Klein II, and then set out on her own to begin her own line in 1984. Her first designs were immediately praised and bought up by women around the world. Donna's creations were praised as being "fantastic", "exceptional", "absolute perfection" and " every piece like a jewel"1 These comments were only the beginning of the many that were to come in the future, praising the work of one of the most influential women in fashion.

Karan, known as "the queen of Seventh Avenue" , owns and is the chief executive of Donna Karan Company managing marketing, production of clothing and design. Her empire houses almost 2000 employees and brings in an annual revenue of $622.6 million. Karan's fashion presence is strong, with 10 full-price stores worldwide and the DKNY world flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City. She also recently opened a Donna Karan New York flagship store in Nagasaki, Japan.

She is credited with being one of the chief innovators of the bridge line. Her clothes are regarded as "user-friendly and luxurious", a staple to modern women looking for comfort as well as style. At the time when Karan's designs were becoming popular, Iman and Dalma ruled the runways. Instead of trying to dress the sad, anorexic drug- using models of today, Donna dressed real women. While models walked down the runway in stylish and wearable suits, they hooked women all over the world into dressing like them.

In 1988, Donna Karan introduced her cheaper DKNY line, in an attempt to dress her daughter.She noticed that many younger girls wanted to wear the stylish yet expensive fashions she designed. That was how the cheaper DKNY fashions were born, targeting young adults.

Whatever Karan is into personally, will reflect in her designs. She invites people to try new things in fashion, while not designing outlandish dresses, or see-through tops, she c omes out with colours and different fits. Her fans are loyal to her creations, and she stretches their imaginations and urges them to try new styles. She sometimes uses her family's interests as the basis for her new fashion ideas, such as basing DKNY on daughter Gabby.

Donna Karan is married to Stephen Weiss, a sculptor, and together they have 3 children. Stephen helped Donna launch her first fashion line in 1984, after her departure from Anne Klein, and has been helping her ever since.

Karan is the perfect example of an entrepreneur because she took a huge risk by leaving her Anne Klein company. Not only has she become one of the most successful women in the world, she is also a respected fashion name. Many people, wealthy and working class, can afford and enjoy her fashions.

Today, Donna's empire has grown to gain international success and recognition. With John Idol as CEO of Donna Karan International and Carol Kerner as President , Karan has become famous and consistent in the ever changing and competitive fashion world. The headquarters are located in New York, NY, and the web address is By the way she designs, Ms. Karan will stay alive in the fashion world and continue to impress us with her incredibly classy yet modern fashions. Considering the fact that a persons chances of becoming a famous fashion designer are 1 in 160 000, Donna Karan has certainly beat the odds. Many other women look up to Donna not only because she designs beautiful clothing, but because she is a great entrepreneur, and she know that in order to be successful you must take risks. Congratulations Donna, and may the new millennium bring you much more great success!

For More Information

Donna Karan Book Review - In this site, you will find a review on a recent biography of Donna Karan.

Vogue Biography- Donna Karan- This biography site features a detailed account of Donna's recent achievements.
Donna Karan Biography. A site which features names of Donna Karan/DKNY products, with a brief biography.

Donna's Book Review. This site features an opinionated book review on a recent book written by Donna herself.