Karan, Donna, 1948–, American fashion designer, b. Forest Hills, N.Y., as Donna Faske. Daughter of a tailor and a garment saleswoman, she started to design clothes as a teenager and studied at New York's Parsons School of Design. In 1967 she began working for the Anne Klein womenswear house and became its chief designer on Klein's death in 1974. Karan launched her first collection under her own name in 1985 and five years later added a ready-to-wear line, DKNY. She became known for comfortable yet elegant apparel made particularly for professional women. Her signature business and sportswear lines included tailored jackets, scarf skirts, trousers, bodysuits, and coordinated accessories. In 1991 she initiated a menswear line, soon adding children's clothing, perfume, cosmetics, hosiery, and other products to her design empire.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Donna Karan from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Fashion: Biographies