By  on May 30, 2007

NEW YORK — Donna Karan International is building an accessories team to drive a renewed effort in the category.

The company tapped Michelle Sanders as senior vice president of Donna Karan Collection accessories, a new post. Sanders joins from Miu Miu, where she was president of its American operations for the last six months. She joined the division of Prada Group in November to oversee the brand's growth here. Previously, she was vice president and fashion director at Juicy Couture, and before that, accessories director at Vogue for about six years. Sanders will start at DKI on Monday, and will report to Carole Kerner, president of the Donna Karan New York collection.

In addition, DKI tapped Kathy Formby as vice president of Collection accessories, design. She joins from Abercrombie & Fitch's Ruehl division, where she served as vice president of design for accessories for three years. Before that, she held senior roles at Polo Ralph Lauren and Chanel. Formby also will start at DKI on Monday.

Karan has dabbled in accessories over the years, but like many other American fashion houses, the Donna Karan Collection leather goods never really took off and were always distributed selectively. The bolstered accessories team is a further signal that parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which bought the company in December 2000, sees Karan's potential in the category, and wants to explore the largely untapped opportunities. "There is a renewed focus on strengthening the Collection accessories line," a DKI spokeswoman said.

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