WWD reports that Donna Karan, one of the most iconic American designers in the fashion industry, is stepping down as chief designer of Donna Karan International (DKI).
The company, whose outstanding shares were bought by LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton for $243 million, was founded by Donna and her deceased husband Stephan Weiss in 1984.
“LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching,” she said earlier today. “After considering the right time to take this step for several years, I feel confident that DKI has a bright future and a strong team in place.”
Donna revolutionized the wardrobes of modern working women in the ’90s, and after a long and storied career, the 66-year-old designer has decided to focus on something she is also truly passionate about. “I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential and follow my vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education and preservation of cultures,” she explains in a statement.
When her husband died of lung cancer in 2001, it spurred her decision to put up Urban Zen. “Honestly, he is the one who really inspired me to doing the Urban Zen therapy program. I realized that there is no care in healthcare, and I wanted to bring that back. I wanted to help care for patients on mind, body, and spiritual levels,” she tells Into The Gloss.
She will remain a close adviser to DKI under a long-term agreement.
Photo courtesy of the Fashion Times