Most rap fans may associate Donna Karan with soccer moms and glamorous housewives, but it may come as a surprise to some that the famed fashion designer had her imprint on hip-hop in a big way with DKNY.
After teaming up with Takihyo Corporation, Donna Karan New York would debut for fall of 1985 and cater to the modern woman, resulting in mass success for Karan and her being dubbed "The Queen Of Seventh Avenue." But it would be the launch of DKNY, her less expensive line for younger women who aspired to the Donna Karan aesthetic while remaining in tune with the Generation X.
Launched in 1988, DKNY would become wildly popular with urban fashionistas, leading to artists like Lil Kim and the Notorious B.I.G. famously referencing the brand in various rap songs. Spawning divisions like DKNY Jeans, DKNY Men, and DKNY Active, the urban-friendly arm of the Donna Karan brand may be an afterthought when listing clothing lines that define the hip-hop era, but those in the know would agree that DKNY holds a special place within the fabric of the world where hip-hop and fashion collide.