Donna Karan Brands Boycott Started After Designer's Harvey Weinstein Comments

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Donna Karan has not been affiliated with any of her namesake brands since 2015.

Fashion designer Donna Karan has not been affiliated with any of the Donna Karan International brands since 2015, when she stepped down from her creative director position to focus more of her energy on her Urban Zen nonprofit organization, but that hasn't stopped customers, angered over her comments regarding Harvey Weinstein and his actions, from boycotting the brand. 

Shoppers are calling for a boycott of DKNY and asking for distributors, like Nordstrom and Macy's, to stop carrying the line altogether. An online petition on Care2 asking Nordstrom to drop all products has garnered almost 8,000 signatures. 

Julie Mastrine, a representative for Care2, said to WWD after being told that the designer is no longer affiliated with her brand, "It's about them being associated with her brand when she's made these comments." The petition has not yet been presented to Nordstrom.

Karan took heat for initially defending Harvey Weinstein to a red-carpet reporter on Sunday evening after the New York Times reported multiple allegations of sexual harassment against the producer. She has since retracted her statement, which was caught on video, and said that her words were "taken out of context" but that she is "truly sorry" nonetheless for suggesting that the victims were "asking for it" by dressing provocatively.

The 69-year-old sold her brand to LVMH in 2015, and DKNY was briefly helmed by Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow. It was then acquired by G-III Apparel (which also owns Ivanka Trump's namesake label) in late 2016, announcing plans to transform the DKNY line into a lifestyle brand and to revive the Donna Karan luxury line. 

The move comes as a reminder of the issues that can arise when a designer steps away from his or her namesake label. Before she could launch a new label, the designer formerly known as Kate Spade legally changed her name to Kate Valentine to avoid consumer confusion with Kate Spade NY, which is now under the creative direction of Deborah Lloyd. The same issue arose when designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott walked away from their denim label. Most notably, Ivanka Trump's namesake label has continued to take heat even after she cut ties with the company following the 2016 election.