LVMH to Cut Back at Donna Karan International after Karan Departs

In What's New, Industry News by Jeff Prine

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

New York—Following the departure last week of founder, designer and inspiration Donna Karan from Donna Karan International, LVMH, which owns the company, has moved to make cuts in the business.

The French luxurygoods conglomerate purchased Donna Karan in 2001. Now it has filed a WARN notice with the New York State Department of Labor that it will lay off 70 employees at the Donna Karan label. The staffers, who are scheduled to depart, starting this month and ending in January, were stationed at the company’s 550 Seventh Ave. headquarters.

Earlier this month, Karan said has made “a personal decision” to step down from her day-to-day responsibilities as Chief Designer for Donna Karan International. She will remain with the company in an advisory role and will dedicate her focus on her Urban Zen Company and foundation, which she founded in 2007. Upon her announcement, LVMH said it would suspend production at Donna Karan and would not host a show at New York Fashion Week in September.

Apparently LVMH plans to focus on DKNY, the diffusion brand, which accounts for about 80% of DKI sales. Design duo from Public School Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were hired to head DKNY.

While some Donna Karan employees will be moved to the DKNY brand, the 70 who remained with the namesake label will be let go, an LVMH spokesperson said. DKI has a total of 1,400 employees.

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