fashion designer, business executive
Birthplace: Forest Hills, N.Y.
Known as the queen of Seventh Avenue, Donna Karan is the owner and chief designer of Donna Karan Company, managing production and marketing as well as design. Karan began working for Liz Claiborne while still in school and designed for Anne Klein from 1974 to 1984, the year she debuted her own collection (which she designed during her first six weeks as a mother). The stylish women executives who depend upon Karan's work—much of it basic black—praise her fashions as flattering and versatile, comfortable and chic. Karan won Coty Awards in 1977 and 1981 and was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1984.