Donna Karan Steps Down as Chief Designer of Donna Karan International

Donna Karan
Donna Karan is stepping down as chief designer of her company, Donna Karan International  Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Donna Karan International is losing its namesake. Famed American designer Donna Karan announced on Tuesday, June 30, that she’s stepping down as chief designer of her company after three decades.

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“LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching,” the 66-year-old sartorial tastemaker told WWD. (LVMH bought DKI back in 2001, 17 years after Karan co-founded the company with her late husband Stephan Weiss.)

According to WWD, the designer “will remain a close adviser to DKI” but hopes to devote a great deal of her time her Urban Zen Foundation, which aims to “change the current healthcare paradigm” and “empower children,” among other things.

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“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 told WWD.

“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.”

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Karan’s creations have made her a red carpet favorite over the years, and a frequent standout at awards shows. Among her many knockouts: Nina Dobrev‘s dramatic, impeccably tailored gown at the 2011 Emmys, and Viola Davis‘ strapless, beaded number at the 2015 Golden Globes.

Viola and Nina
Viola Davis attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2015; Nina Dobrev arrives to the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011. Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Jeff Vespa/WireImage

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