Known for clothes both classic and comfortable, Donna Karan International (DKI) defines the metropolitan flair that bridges the difference between stylishly casual and conventional. The firm designs and sells men's and women's clothes, including suits, sportswear, accessories, and shoes, under the Donna Karan New York, DKNY, DKNY Jeans, and DKNY Active labels. DKI sells to upscale department and specialty stores and through its own retail stores. It also licenses third parties to run most of its international stores. Fashion leviathan LVMH holds a majority stake in Donna Karan, although designer Karan still remains in creative control of its fashion lines and helps maintain her namesake brand.
DKI is part of LVMH's fashion and leather goods business group, alongside some of the parent company's popular brands Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Thomas Pink, Givenchy, and Louis Vuitton. The group generated 34% of its parent's 2013 revenue.
The company sells its products across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, including emerging markets.
DKI has logged sales gains in the US and overseas, post-recession. The label attributes the positive momentum to fashion shows and its image makeover in recent years. Indeed, DKI concentrates on best-sellers and its concept of designing a collection that transitions well from day to evening.
As part of its strategy, DKI repositioned its 25-year-old Donna Karan Collection to expand its customer base and target a high-growth market segment, adding its own store in Las Vegas. In international markets, the LVMH apparel firm has seen traction in Asia for its New York line DKNY. Specifically, it's tapping new and emerging markets, namely China and India, for their growth potential.
In a joint venture that currently extends through 2015, DKI partners with menswear maker S. Kumars Nationwide. With S. Kumars as 80% owner in the SKNL UK Ltd. entity, the company sources, designs, and distributes DKNY-branded men's apparel worldwide. The move allows womenswear expert DKI to concentrate on its core competencies.
The company also extensively licenses its name to the likes of Estée Lauder (beauty products), Fossil (watches), Liz Claiborne (activewear), PVH (men's shirts), Oxford Industries (children's clothes), and Luxottica (eyewear). DKI sells primarily to upscale department and specialty stores and through the company's 15 full-price stores and 50-plus discount outlets in the US and the UK. Liz Claiborne operates DKNY Jeans stores, and DKI also licenses stores in Japan and elsewhere in the Asia/Pacific region.