NEW YORK — After facing the loss of several key executives in recent months, Donna Karan International has acted to retain DKNY brand chief Mary Wang, who had been planning to jump to Tory Burch’s new company.
Wang will stay on at Donna Karan as president of DKNY, according to a spokeswoman for the firm, who could not provide further details. Divisional heads were informed of Wang’s decision to remain at the company earlier on Tuesday.
Last month, Wang announced she was leaving DKI for what would have been the third time in her career, this time to become president of Tory by TRB, the women’s lifestyle collection launched by Burch last year. Now she’s leaving Burch in the lurch, as the move was said to be a surprise to the designer.
A spokesman for Burch had no comment on Wang’s decision not to join TRB next month as planned, while Burch was traveling in Hong Kong and could not be reached.
Wang has been an instrumental figure in the development of the DKNY business since its launch in 1989. She was vice president of merchandising for the brand for its first season before she jumped to Bloomingdale’s in 1990 as a vice president and divisional merchandise manager of junior and contemporary sportswear. In 1995 she returned to DKNY as president of women’s wear, holding that title for three years until she was recruited to Emanuel/Emanuel Ungaro as its president. She subsequently held positions at Tommy Hilfiger, Daryl K and Coach before returning to the DKNY role in 2002.
Had Wang actually left Donna Karan, she would have been the third of its three divisional presidents to depart the company this year, following Melissa Parker-Lilly’s resignation in May as president of Donna Karan Collection and the move of Carol Sharpe, who was president of retail, to Kenneth Cole in June. Jeffry M. Aronsson, chief executive officer of DKI, was also traveling on Tuesday and could not be reached.