It would be possible to make a case for the boilersuit – from Ghostbusters to the hordes of Glastonbury – as the item of the decade. At New York fashion week on Monday evening, there was more fuel to the fire: the finale of the DKNY show featured about 40 models in boiler suits. Case closed.
This was the first show for DKNY since it was bought by production company G-III for around £500m in July. And, judging by the venue (New York’s favourite 21st-century tourist attraction, the High Line), the 9pm start and millennial-focused front row, change was in the air.
It was announced in July that LVMH had sold DKNY, originally bought in 2001, as part of Donna Karan International to US-based production company G-III. With this deal it became only the second ever brand to be sold by LVMH. G-III produces clothes for other American brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, so Karan’s label – another American classic – fits in well. “[Donna Karan International’s] lifestyle aesthetic resonates well with consumers throughout the world,” said Morris Goldfarb, chief executive of G-III, at the time.
As Goldfarb is no doubt aware, the brand’s reach is far from Karan’s heyday in the 80s and 90s. This can be seen in black-and-white through sales figures – Donna Karan International was running at a loss when it was bought by G-III. It is the job of these new designers, and new owners, to turn that around. This is the first step on that road.