KARAN, CLAIBORNE REPORTEDLY IN TALKS FOR DKNY JEANSWEAR

NEW YORK — Could Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne be teaming up on a jeans deal?
According to reports making the rounds Tuesday, Karan is in talks with Liz Claiborne Inc. about producing its DKNY jeanswear collection.
Claiborne executives declined to comment. John Idol, chief executive officer of Donna Karan International, could not be reached; a company spokeswoman declined to comment.
If Karan does sign on with Claiborne, it would be another indication that her company is committed to licensing, a strategy it has largely spurned thus far.
Only last month, Idol told WWD he was open to licensing more categories following the licensing of Karan’s beauty business to Estee Lauder Co.
Karan’s jeanswear journey has been on a rocky road. Last spring, a deal for a long-term licensing agreement with Designer Holdings Ltd. fell through.
Claiborne’s connection with Karan may lie with its president, Denise Seegal, who came aboard in October 1996 after stints as president at CK Calvin Klein and DKNY. Seegal joined DKNY in 1988 and under her leadership, the Karan division grew into a department store powerhouse, doing some $250 million at wholesale.

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