25 July 2016
LVMH agreed to sell Donna Karan International to G-III Apparel Group Ltd. for an enterprise value of $650 million, a rare disposal for the French luxury-goods maker, which failed to turn around a label that once defined workplace attire for successful U.S. women.
The sale reflects LVMH’s inability to generate profitable growth from the business, which has counted Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama among its fans. Co-founder Donna Karan transformed professional women’s wardrobes in the 1980s and ’90s with her design philosophy of “seven easy pieces” that could be mixed and matched, but the spread of casual workplace dressing has proved a challenge.
LVMH shelved the Donna Karan line after its founder departed last year, with plans to focus on the DKNY brand, the New York Post reported on July 20. It also said that the company had decided to sell both brands after seven months of “disappointing performance” under new designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow.