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Donna Karan looks at domestic designers to dress up India

Global fashion designer Donna Karan is exploring opportunities to expand in the jewellery segment in India, and work with local fashion designers and artisans to expand her brand ‘Urban Zen

business Updated: Mar 26, 2016 08:07 IST
Beena Parmar
Global fashion designer Donna Karan is exploring opportunities to expand in the jewellery segment in India, and work with local fashion designers and artisans to expand her brand ‘Urban Zen
Global fashion designer Donna Karan is exploring opportunities to expand in the jewellery segment in India, and work with local fashion designers and artisans to expand her brand ‘Urban Zen(Mint)

MUMBAI

Global fashion designer Donna Karan is exploring opportunities to expand in the jewellery segment in India, and work with local fashion designers and artisans to expand her brand ‘Urban Zen.’

“I am looking to work with the jewellery segment here. I am planning to come back in my next trip and do some exploration,” Donna Karan told HT.

Speaking at the Mint Luxury conference in Mumbai, Karan talked about sustainable fashion and how she intends to connect with local partners and local consumers, since even a global brand should ‘celebrate the local culture.’

With 100% foreign direct investment allowed in single-brand retail in the country (49% in case of multi-brand retail) and the current government promoting Make in India heavily, Karan is open to the idea of investing further in India. She, however, didn’t disclose specific numbers.

“I would like to do it (FDI) with a partner in India. I have a problem with globalisation of a brand…European and American brands come here but Urban Zen is about the relationship between cultures,” Karan said.

She sold her labels Donna Karan and DKNY to French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2001. She has been focusing on her brand Urban Zen, which includes apparel for men and women, jewellery, accessories, artisan furniture and home décor, among other things.

She plans to work with local artisans, is looking for partnerships in the rural areas and going to unseen local places in India. “I want partners for that, which will definitively stay in India. So, it is a balance between philanthropy and commerce . It is not just about dressing people but addressing people of India.”

Drawing inspiration from India’s traditional touch as well as yoga and meditation, Karan plans to create a local culture and communicate to consumers. “I want it to be through their eyes and would be more interested in those who are looking to preserve the culture and taking it to the next dimension.”

Karan, who is in India for two days, met Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi, and discussed collaboration plans to talk to more designers and partners who can create India’s Urban Zen.

Urban Zen is in India for the past 10 years.