American fashion designer born in New York City. Karan studied at Parsons School of Design before being employed as a sketcher by fashion designer Anne Klein. Appointed Klein’s successor in 1969, Karan worked for the label until she formed her own in 1984. She produced comfortable, tailored working clothes for executive women that were feminine yet projected a sense of power. In addition, her clothes were designed to take women from the office into the evening. She also produced trendy, wearable sportswear in bright colors, and clingy clothes such as the bodysuit.
In 1988 Karan launched a lower-priced line of sportswear, DKNY, and in 1991 added sport clothes for men, DKNY Men. In 1992 she moved away from the structured look of the 1980s to produce lighter, casual, and more fluid outfits for women. In 2001 she sold her company to the French firm LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy).