Caroline Brown has indeed been appointed as CEO of Donna Karan, following her departure from fellow New York brand Carolina Herrera. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, with a new leader comes a raft of changes.
Comparing the new vision for Donna Karan and DKNY to what LVMH has done with Marc Jacobs, Pierre-Yves Roussel - chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, who will work hand in hand with Brown as the company's chairman - revealed that America poses different challenges and promises different successes than the conglomerate has found in its native Europe with labels like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Kenzo and Loewe.
"We find that the US is a super-interesting market," Roussel said. "It starts from having the right CEOs and building a team around that so we can be as successful as we've been in Europe on a lot of projects... We're looking at those two projects as being very important to us. We really want to get to the heart and the depth of what has made those brands successful... Yes, you have to have the right resources, but it's more about having the time, the clarity and the direction. We're not going to replicate what we've been doing in Europe."
Some life-long fans of Karan's work may be concerned that sweeping changes often marginalise the founding designer, but Roussel asserts that, the New York designer is very much part of future plans - whatever difference they may make to the structure of the company.
"We'll be looking at everything," he told WWD. "We are challenging ourselves; there is nothing taboo, and each time we do projects, we are willing to change what needs to be changed. And we're doing it openly with Donna, who has built an incredible brand. The brand carries her name, so she's part of it, whatever shape and form it will take, there's no question. Then in what creative configuration, we'll see, but I think she can still bring a lot."
Brown will embark on her new role on January 15.