Donna Karan is placing her iconic DKNY brand in the hands of Public School wunderkinds, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. The design duo—and CFDA superstars—have been named the sportswear label’s newest creative directors.
Chow and Osborne will present their first DKNY women’s collection this September at New York Fashion Week. They will also lead the design direction of DKNY’s men’s collections.
Buzz have been swirling for the past month that Karan was ready to pass the baton. Designers Prabal Gurung and A.L.C. designer Andrea Lieberman were rumored to be potential successors. “I started DKNY with the goal of creating a brand that captured the best of New York and could bring that great energy to the world,” Karan said. “Now is the right moment for its evolution and I’m so excited for the new chapter of this company working together with this new creative team.”
Chow and Osborne will divide their time between DKNY and their own label Public School, which they launched in 2007 after working together at Sean John. The move to DKNY is a big step into womenswear for the menswear-focused designers, but the native New Yorkers said they are ready to contribute to the next chapter of DKNY.
“We both grew up in New York and DKNY has always been part of the landscape of this city in our formative years as designers and New Yorkers,” they said in a statement. “It is one of the brands that helped change the game for us and for American fashion.