Happy 30th Anniversary, Donna Karan!

Can it really have been 30 years since Donna Karan launched the eponymous label that would go on to redefine urban luxury? As the famed fashion designer celebrates three successful decades, we’re more than a little in awe. She’s truly had quite the run.


Two of Karan’s sharp, utili-chic looks for fall 2014.

Earlier this year, “Woman in Motion,” a collaborative film by Steven Sebring, captured Karlie Kloss from one hundred different camera angles to produce a stunning montage of the Donna Karan woman: elegant, fashionable and always on the move. And her recent Spring/Summer 2015 show was largely informed by street art, with collage-y scribbles and brushstrokes reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat across light-colored skirts and dresses.

When Karan launched her now global design brand in 1984, women’s high fashion was in a very different place. Much like Coco Chanel before her—who designed with “real women” in mind and encouraged such revolutionary sartorial choices as wearing trousers and jersey knits—Karan envisaged her contemporaries in easy, modern separates that were interchangeable and would both encourage movement and discourage stuffiness.

Thirty years later, Karan’s casual-cool empire reigns amid a fashion climate that’s been irrevocably influenced by her brand of understated chic. “Normcore” and easy-moving, every-woman styles are all the rage right now, and Karan’s down-to-earth designs fit right into the milieu.

As the notes from her latest show said, “Time to show your colors and paint the town with urban chic.” Preach!

—Bibi Deitz

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