DKNY — the secondary label of fashion designer Donna Karan — is as tied to New York City in the American mind as "I ♥ NY" shirts and rude cabbies. Nicknamed “the Queen of Seventh Avenue,” Karan launched her flagship 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, and straightforward shapes — have been inspiring designers and chic city ladies ever since. In 1988 Karan launched DKNY to bring young women into her fold; over the next few years she expanded DKNY to include denim (DKNY Jeans) and menswear. Today DKNY offers dresses, shoes, hosiery, luxe wallets and handbags, sexy Intimates and shapewear, and perfume for women; underwear, outerwear, everything-in-betweenwear, suiting, and fragrances for men; and watches for both. (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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