Donna Karan Steps Down From DKNY

Iconic fashion designer Donna Karan is stepping down as chief designer of of LVMH-owned Donna Karan International, the company announced Tuesday.

After helming the brand which she founded 31 years ago, Karan 66, will be stepping down from her eponymous label to focus on her Urban Zen company and foundation which she founded in 2007. However she will serve as an adviser to DKI under a long-term agreement, putting the label's fashion shows on temporary hiatus and not seeking a successor. The company plans a corporate restructuring with a greater focus on DKNY.

"LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching," said Karan on Tuesday. "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. 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."

"Over the past three decades, Donna Karan has inspired women around the world to embrace their power and sensuality," DKNY said in a statement. "Donna Karan is an icon, visionary designer, and a passionate philanthropist. She believes in dressing and addressing women. Her impact on American fashion has been extraordinary and she will continue to influence and inspire for years to come."

Karan founded the label in 1984, along with her late husband, Stephen Weiss, and Takiyaho Inc with the intention to create a collection that she and her friends could wear easily and comfortably. In 2001 DKI was acquired by French conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Lately, DKI has undergone several changes with the company replacing Jane Chung, executive vice president of design. It named Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the founders of the Public School label, as its creative directors.