Donna Karan, the founder and chief designer of Donna Karan Internation, a LVMH Moët HennesseyLouis Vuitton company, announced today that she will be leaving the company. There are no plans to replace her, although Karan will have a contact as a adviser to DKI. The main Donna Karan collection is suspended indefinitely, and DKI will reorganize its teams and structure to “substantially increase its focus on the DKNY brand,” the company’s more accessible line, according to the announcement, reports The New York Times
It was a year ago in February 2014 that Donna Karan celebrated 30 years with her own label. At that time, the New York Times quoted Karan as saying that she wished her relationship with LVMH was stronger but they gave her the cold shoulder.
The brand is certainly not the powerhouse it once was. Though the top line is still carried at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, once inextricably intertwined with Ms. Karan’s core customer, stopped carrying it about six months ago. (The chain still has a large selection of DKNY.) Anne Keating, a senior vice president, declined to comment on why the store decided to discontinue the Donna Karan brand.
Donna Karan and her husband Steven Weiss, who died of cancer at 62, sold their business to LVMH in 2000. Forbes May 2015 list of America’s richest self-made women estimated Karan’s wealth at $450 million, tying her in position #31 with Diane von Furstenberg.
The designer and creator of the Smart Sensuality woman’s day to evening wardrobe intends to devote more time to her Urban Zen Foundation. Forbes reports that Karan has been expanding a jewelry, clothing, decor and beauty collection, donating 10 percent of its proceeds to post-earthquake recovery in Haiti, among other causes.
Unless she’s on her toes, Misty Copeland is just a little over five feet tall, but she’s a towering figure in the world of ballet — a top dancer in one of the top companies; American Ballet Theater. She’s been called a prodigy, a breath of fresh air. She wants to blow the cobwebs out of the stuffy world of classical ballet and open the doors to everyone. Misty Copeland is the embodiment of the American dream. She grew up poor, didn’t hear classical music until she was a teenager, she’s an African American in a profession where there are few. At 32, she has overcome more obstacles than most of us ever face. When she began, one dance company told her she would never make it in ballet. Boy, were they wrong.
Most Wonderful Breaking News!!! Misty Copeland Promoted to Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater
Misty Copeland today became the first African American female principal dancer in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater. Her promotion comes after more than 14 years with the company and nearly eight as a soloist, where she was one of three African Americans in the history of the company.
Copeland was one of five TIME 100 covers in 2015. In May she was profiled by CBS 60 Minutes. (See above).
Misty Copeland For Under Armour
Misty Copeland’s Under Armour ad has more than 8 million views.
Over the past year, whenever Ms. Copeland, 32, danced leading roles with Ballet Theater, her performances became events, drawing large, diverse, enthusiastic crowds to cheer her on at the Metropolitan Opera house, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. After she starred in “Swan Lake” with Ballet Theater last week — becoming the first African-American to do so with the company at the Met — the crowd of autograph seekers was so large that people had to be moved away from the cramped stage door area.