NEW YORK — Donna Karan will be presented with the Fragrance Foundation's Hall of Fame award when the organization holds its FiFi celebration here on May 31.
The award is presented annually to an individual who has brought "extraordinary ingenuity, dedication and inner resources to bear not only on his [or] her company's success, but to the fragrance industry as a whole," according to the foundation.
"I'm particularly honored to accept this award on behalf of the amazing collaboration I had with my husband, Stephan [Weiss], who founded our beauty company," Karan said in a statement. "To us, beauty was more than a fragrance. It was our passion that went on to touch so many lives."
Karan's namesake fashion firm, Donna Karan International, got into the beauty business 15 years ago. The products that resulted were often innovative, offbeat and eye-catching. Weiss, Karan's late husband, was an artist and sculptor. He held the creative and business reigns of Donna Karan Beauty Co., the in-house beauty operation, and he designed the bottles for Karan's fragrances. Even after his death in 2001, Weiss' artwork served as inspiration for bottle designs for Karan's fragrance collections.
Five years after entering the beauty business, Donna Karan International opted to license its beauty trademark, under pressure from shareholders. In 1997, the firm signed a global licensing agreement with the Estée Lauder Cos. At the time, Karan was marketing her signature Donna Karan New York scent, a fall 1992 entry, as well as Cashmere Mist — still a perennial bestseller — which was launched in spring 1994.
Along with Lauder, Karan has added numerous scents, including DKNY Women (1999), DKNY Men (2000), Donna Karan Black Cashmere (2002), Be Delicious Women (2004), Be Delicious Men and Essence (both in 2005) and DKNY Red Delicious for men and women (spring 2006).
Her most recent fragrance launch was Donna Karan Gold, which made its debut in October.
"Donna Karan is, and continues to be, a tremendous influence in the fragrance industry," Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation, said in the statement. "Throughout her career, Donna has been recognized for her significant achievements in fashion, and on behalf of the entire fragrance industry, I am honored to present her with the prestigious Hall of Fame award."
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