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FASHIONTRIBES 5 MIN. PODCAST: Donna Karan Updates her 80s Mix-&-Match Wardrobe Essentials with the New Donna Karan Icons Line. FASHIONTRIBES FASHION BLOG & PODCAST

Donna_karan Donna Karan; photo:

Famed for her way with slinky black jersey and bodysuits, Donna Karan is capitalizing on the capsule collection that first made her a fashion design superstar: the seven Essentials that could be mixed and matched to create a fully functional & fabulous wardrobe. Depending on how the various components were combined - a bodysuit, wrap skirt, tailored jacket, tailored pant, cashmere knits, a robe-like coat & eveningwear - a working woman could easily transition from day to evening to red carpet. (And retailers and Donna Karan fans couldn’t be happier; her high profile stroll of late down the alterna-path of spirituality and globetrotting had many wondering if she’d ever return to her roots.)

Called Donna Karan Icons, the collection - which will be launched in conjunction with her newest fragrance, Donna Karan Gold - still features the same underlying mix-and-match sensibility as the original, complete with hardware accents by Robert Lee Morris. To keep it relevant, updated staples were included such as an organza lined taffeta trench, a floor-length jersey wrap, and a gown with her signature cold shoulder. "When you think of Donna Karan you think of the cold shoulder, you think of wrap-and-tie, whether it be a bodysuit or a dress, and the quintessential jacket," Karan recently told WWD. Unlike many standard fashion collections, Icons will be only be tweaked (instead of overhauled) each season. "It's like a Mercedes. You don't start a Mercedes all over. It can't be anybody else's but yours." And expect healthy doses of Karan’s signature hue, black. "I am not going to say I couldn't see it in white or ivory, but a perfect black jersey dress is a perfect black jersey dress."

Starting in the late spring, the collection will be available at Donna Karan stores, as well as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom, and priced between $600 to $3000. "The opportunity for growth is extraordinary if the product is right and we put the marketing dollars behind it," notes Mark Weber, CEO of both Donna Karan International & parent company LVMH. "The reception to the brand and the eagerness for product categories, more core, more open-to-buy and more real estate, has been there." Karan, however, is just happy to give women what they want. "Women keep on saying to me, 'Where did you get that coat?' I would say, 'It's mine,' and they would respond, ‘From where? I didn't see it.' And I'd have to tell them it's a few years old. And then, this year, when I found myself wearing so many of the Gold pieces, I loved it because I didn't have to think twice about it." She also worried that her image and licenses were starting to overshadow the actual clothing designs. "I did not want to be known as just a cashmere sequin designer or a hosiery designer, there was more to the system. I said, 'That's not just what we're about.' So it was reinstating the core essence of what Donna Karan is." (via WWD)

To hear the Fashiontribes 5 Min. Podcast about this, visit

- Lesley Scott


January 18, 2007 in Fashion, Fashiontribes Daily Podcast, PODCAST, Podcaster News Shows, Weblogs, What to Wear at Work | Permalink


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