"Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul," says Donna Karan, chief designer of the international company DKNY. "For me, designing is an expression of who I am as a woman, with all the complications, feelings and emotions."
So design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxury, the practical with the desirable. How Karan meets that challenge can run from the simplicity of a bodysuit (where it all began) to the artisan glamour of a limited edition hand-painted devore dress.
Whatever form the design takes, Karan will tell you it begins and ends with the body - its sensual expression, sense of security, and freedom of movement.
A modern system of dressing, Karan's concept is based on seven easy pieces, where a handful of interchangeable items work together to create an entire wardrobe that goes from day to evening, weekday to weekend, season to season. "I'm designing for an international man and woman. A creative person who never knows where a day is going to take them," says Karan. "That's why New York is on the label. It sets the pace, the attitude."
For Karan, it's never been just about clothes. It's about a lifestyle. She sees the entire picture from head-to-toe, from function to aesthetic. Karan's quest for the perfect jeans, as well as her desire to dress her daughter Gabby, resulted in the 1989 birth of DKNY.