July 3, 2015
Donna Karan, fashion icon is stepping down to pursue philanthropy. A fashion house designed and developed by a woman for women is leaving without a successor.
The leaving of any dynasty without a successor is akin to shutting the doors to a legacy.
NPR reported the transcript of the interview with Linda Wertheimer talking to Robin Givhan, fashion critic for The Washington Post, about Donna Karan’s decision to step down from Donna Karan International. “MONTAGNE: That’s Robin Givhan, fashion writer at The Washington Post. She says that last designer, Donna Karan, has been a beacon for women in an industry that Givhan says doesn’t always serve them well.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Now, Karan has announced she’s stepping away from her labels, Donna Karan New York and DKNY. While the DKNY brand will continue, the flagship label will be suspended. Givhan says that’s likely to disappoint women who’ve relied on the designer.
GIVHAN: Donna Karan really came on the fashion scene with this very interesting and very pragmatic proposal of seven easy pieces. It was a system for getting dressed that was aimed at professional women. And what made it unique was that it was efficient, it was tailored, but it was also sensual. It did not require a woman to leave her femininity and her sexuality at the door before she entered the workplace. And it was an unusual sensibility for the time, and it is one, in fact, that has informed designers even now.” Read More of interview
The ability to sustain success and drive a vision developed by the founder that is then led by another is very difficult.
Organizations are driven by the mind’s eye of a person or persons that take an idea an d turn it into a living organism. This leader is a creator of ideals, ideas and innovation that manage costs, risks and varied requirements to brand that is recognized.
I would have loved Karan to create a competition to find the next Karan to develop the house of Karan. This competition could lead to diversity of fashion for Karan and new thinking in design.
Karan’s ingenuity will be missed. I am sure she will innovate philanthropy.