Nicknamed “the Queen of Seventh Avenue,” New York City-based fashion designer Donna Karan launched her label in 1985 with Essentials — an accurately titled collection of monochromatic, cashmere and jersey women’s separates designed for sophisticated working women. Karan’s creations achieved instant success, and her signature style moves — all-black ensembles, curve-hugging bodysuits, straightforward shapes — have been inspiring designers and chic city ladies ever since. In 1988 Karan launched the diffusion line DKNY (Donna Karan New York) to bring young women into her fold; over the next few years she expanded DKNY to include denim (DKNY Jeans) and menswear. Today the Donna Karan Collection and DKNY labels offer dresses, hosiery, handbags, shoes, Intimates (lingerie, natch), accessories, and fragrances for women; underwear, outerwear, and everything-in-betweenwear for men; and elegant bedding and décor for your home. (Almost everything, in other words.) Though Karan sold her original collection and DKNY to LVMH, Moët Hennessy in 1996, she’s remained active in both brands as a designer — winning the CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and cementing her place in the pantheon of American fashion.
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