KARAN CALLS OFF JAN. MILAN SHOW OF MEN’S WEAR

Byline: Miles Socha

NEW YORK — Citing logistical pressures, Donna Karan has canceled plans to show her fall ’96 men’s collections in Milan during the Italian men’s shows, set for Jan. 14-17.
Instead, she is seeking space for a runway show in New York during men’s collections Feb. 5-7.
However, the designer said she still plans to do a men’s show in Milan and is targeting a date in 1997. Karan, who has expressed interest in showing her women’s collections in Europe as well, is still looking to do that eventually, a spokeswoman said Sunday, but the timing is uncertain. The designer’s company is stepping up production cycles to get closer to the earlier European timing, the spokeswoman noted. Karan’s lines are sold in Europe from a Milan showroom.
In an interview Friday, Karan said potential fabric delays, plus the complications of working from New York, prompted her to reexamine her Milan men’s wear plan.
“It’s not that we wouldn’t be ready,” she stressed. However, “everything was getting pushed to the limit, and I said, ‘Wait a second; let’s look at this.”‘
Karan had budgeted for a Milan runway event and now plans to funnel that money toward European advertising, part of a “strategic plan for our international development.” She said the allotment will allow for about 60 additional pages in international publications and perhaps some outdoor advertising.
Karan stressed that she is still serious about the Italian men’s shows, favoring the early timing and the European exposure. “Our intention, without a doubt, is to prepare next year to show in Milan [for fall ’97],” she said.
Karan said she ruled out a Milan show for the spring ’97 season next July when she learned that the opening date of her new London Donna Karan Collection store on Old Bond Street, just down the street from her DKNY unit, had been delayed, likely to September.
She said she would not attempt a Milan show at a time when her energies will be focused on London.
On her plans for New York in February, Karan said she is in discussions with 7th on Sixth, which organizes the unified New York Men’s Shows and has already begun assigning times and venues for a total of 21 shows.

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