LVMH confirms sale of Donna Karan to G-III

Maxwell Osbourne and Dao Yi Chow

LVMH has confirmed last week’s rumours by selling Donna Karan International, which includes the DKNY label, to American manufacturer and license holder G-III in a $650m deal.

Rumours emerged last week that the French luxury conglomerate was in talks with a specific buyer for the Donna Karan labels having failed to achieve satisfactory profitable growth for them. LVMH acquired the Donna Karan businesses in 2001. The founder, Donna Karan, stood down last year to concentrate on her new lifestyle business Urban Zen.

In an attempt to revive the brand, LVMH closed the mainline Donna Karan line and focused its attention on the younger diffusion line DKNY appointing Public School designers Maxwell Osbourne and Dao Yi Chow to head it. Sales, however, were understood to have been disappointing.

G-III owns brands such as Vilebrequin, Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Bass, GH Bass and Weejuns and holds licenses for labels such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld. The acquisition of Donna Karan International is expected to complete later this year or early next.