About Donna Karen

Fashion Designer and Charity Runner

Brief Biography

Birth date: Oct. 2, 1948

Birth Place: Forest Hills, New York City, New York

Education: George W. Hewlett High School, Parsons the New School for Design

Marital Status: Widowed Stephen Weiss(1983-2001; his death)

Decade influenced: 1980-present

Early Designer Experience

Donna entered the fashion world in Long Island. Her father, mother, and step father were involved in fashion, so you can see how she picked up her interest. Karen did her first collection and fashion show in high school, before going to Parsons School for Design in 1966. After 2 years at parsons, she was hired by Anne Klein for what was first only a summer job. After being fired and re-hired for dealing with her marriage, she decided to dedicate herself to her fashion in a way suitable to her mind. A few years designing for Anne Klein helped her to be the new head designer of Anne Klein when Anne died in 1974.

Doing her own thing (Her View)

In 1984, after 10 years of designing for Anne Klein, Donna was offered and decided to take the opportunity to start her own business and line with the support of her husband Stephen Weiss, and majority owner of Anne Klein, Takiyho LLC. At this point she describes herself as not a fashion designer, but as a doctor to women's problems. She wanted to create something that the working woman could feel comfortable in, while also looking good. In Fall 1985, Donna debuted her Donna Karen New York label with the women's collection Seven Easy pieces, "where a handful of interchangeable items work together to create an entire wardrobe that goes from day to evening, week day to weekend, season to season". From here until 2002, Donna made big contributions to the fashion world, just doing less and less until 2008