Donna Karan calls for more diversity on runways

Donna Karan has called for more diversity on fashion runways.

The 71-year-old designer – who created the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels respectively – wants to see a return to the heyday when every country had its own unique style and identity.

In an interview with Footwear News, she said: "In the fashion industry, the consumer is confused."

On what made the 70s and 80s so great for fashion, she continued: "Everybody was individualised.

"You had the American world, the British world, the French world, the Italian world.

"And it was . . . the Americans were black. The British were funk."

Karan – who began her career as an assistant designer with Anne Klein in the late 1960s, before she was promoted to associate designer in 1971 – admits that her opinion is quite the opposite to "most" of her colleagues.

She added: "I like to feel differentiation between our cultures.

"And that’s where I’m at, which is a little bit different than most designers."

The legendary designer also admitted that she believes New York Fashion week is getting it wrong, because consumers have seen the pieces on the catwalk months beforehand.

She said: "I believe we’re giving too much information out.

"And now, because of communication, everybody sees everything.

"You know, and the customers see it six months before, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

"It’s like watching a movie — you don’t see the movie before the movie is coming. You see the movie when the move has come."

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