As a famous brand in the industry, prospective buyers are likely to have many questions. 

DKNY, a fashion institution that has existed since the 80s, is most well-known today for their top-quality clothing, footwear, and handbags. But can DKNY be considered a luxury brand?

Its current standing suggests that DKNY can be classed as ‘accessible luxury’ owing to its popularity, overall value and place in the market.

DKNY isn’t as high-end as Chanel, Louis Vuitton (LV) and other instantly recognizable luxury brands. But it’s a bit higher on the scale than mass-produced, standard clothing lines that you can get everywhere. 

Please keep reading to learn more about DKNY and how it stacks up against luxury brands when it comes to clothing.

The History Of DKNY

Donna Karan started her own fashion label in 1984 after 15 years of working for the clothing designer Anne Klein.

Karan named her new brand Donna Karan New York, proving to be successful immediately.

Her first collections were unleashed in 1985, just one year since her start. It was hugely successful but only the beginning of what’s to come.

Donna Karan opened her doors to male customers in 1991 and started designing more collections for them. She built collections with outfits that worked for the whole year and were as versatile as possible.

Bringing affordable fashion to the masses, Donna Karan founded DKNY in 1989 and marketed it as a more accessible line.

Donna Karan’s collection would continue in earnest, but DKNY’s popularity would grow even more due to the affordable prices. Priced at several hundred dollars less than the parent line, many people started to buy them.

New York is an essential theme throughout the brand’s history. DKNY is a trendy brand that has become increasingly widely known over the last few decades.

They have expanded the number of products they offer to continue to produce high-quality and attractive clothing.


Diversification of the Products

With DKNY’s initial success in the early nineties, Donna Karan set her sights on creating a diverse and wide range of products to cover all areas of fashion within the organization.

This would include designing and releasing an expansive range of products, covering almost all fashion bases imaginable.

They initially concentrated on women’s and men’s clothes, but DKNY has expanded into many areas, including DKNY jeans, underwear and children’s wear.

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DKNY now also offers sportswear, suits, fragrances, jewellery, bedding materials, and household items in their repertoire.

DKNY used popular and likeable characters like Cara Delevingne and Emily Ratajkowski to help them market their label in the 21st century.

This has worked well for them since these stars have a more extensive online following than the company does on its own. They followed the strategy of diversification to keep up with the changes in society.

What Happened Later to DKNY

The Donna Karan brand has been around for a long time and experienced some difficulties in the 2010s.

Although their customer base is still prominent, Donna Karan and DKNY also suffered a loss of popularity over the years and some public criticism.

Donna Karan brand has undergone several changes since its start. In 2001, both the Donna Karan lines were bought by LVMH – Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. In 2016, LVMH sold the Donna Karan brands to another fashion conglomerate for $650 million. 

Later, Donna Karan left her position as the head designer for her company and the Donna Karan brand.

Despite the company operating at a lower capacity and with less influence than it once did, DKNY has done its best to keep things going, but it won’t be the same. 

The Quality Of DKNY

If you want to find out whether or not a clothing brand is considered luxurious, it’s worth looking at the quality of their products. For example, we’re going to explore the materials & craftsmanship of DKNY items to help determine what quality they are.

Price Range

DKNY bags usually cost between $100 and $498, which is affordable. They may go on sale periodically, so there’s a good chance you’ll find your favorite DKNY bag at an even lower price.

If you’re looking for shoes that range from boots, sandals, or heels, the prices here go from $89 to $269. This brand is an excellent option if you want fashionable shoes without spending too much money.

There are many different clothes on the DKNY website, perfect for whatever season you’re looking for and prices to match. The most expensive piece is a leather jacket which costs $595.

The clothes are not exactly cheap, but there is a wide range of prices, meaning you ought to find something that suits your budget.

Brand Style

To fully understand DKNY, it’s essential to know that the brand started as a cheaper younger sister of Donna Karan New York. This is why the company offers various products at varying prices and styles.

DKNY aims to cater to a younger crowd – that’s why they often include their logo in displays, use black & white since it’s a trend, and have lots of athleisure-inspired designs.

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Materials and Craftsmanship

DKNY bags come in a variety of textures and materials. For instance, the main body of the bag, along with the trim and lining, are made from different high-quality materials. The more expensive variants are often entirely leather, either smooth or textured.

Some products are made from polyester, cotton, or polyurethane, giving them a longer lifespan and often trimmed with leather. The lack of information on a couple of the products makes it hard to know what material they’re made from.

Most of DKNY’s products are made in China, with a couple also made in Italy- the labor costs reflect their prices!

The quality of DKNY products is fundamentally decent, and the materials are durable and do not wear down quickly.

Still, they do not hold the same level of quality as more luxury-oriented brands like Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen, or Christian Dior.

Are DKNY Bags Worth It

A DKNY bag is affordable compared to other luxury brands, but it is also of high quality & durability.

This brand is somewhat more expensive than others on the market, but they provide superb designs and high-quality goods within most people’s budgets.

It can be a bit expensive, but everyone can tell the difference in longevity depending on what you do with your bag.

Every penny spent is worth it. However, note that different bags have different longevity because of how a person takes care of them.

Is DKNY a Luxury Brand

While DKNY has had success, it’s never been considered a ‘true’ luxury’. It sits on the midsection of the upper-tier luxury brands, with brands like Michael Kors and Tory Burch as so-called ‘accessible luxury’.

Simply put, DKNY clothes are more expensive, exclusive and of higher quality than standard clothing. But they’re not as expensive (or exclusive) as Gucci, and they’re nowhere near the levels of Hermes or Prada.

DKNY has maintained an air of accessibility for many years and has never pushed for designer clothes.

We all know that high-quality clothing doesn’t come cheap. If you head over to the DKNY website, you can find some jackets for less than a hundred bucks each. On the other hand, if you want to buy one of those luxury products by Gucci, it will set you back by thousands.

Exclusivity and price contribute a lot to a luxury brand’s reputation, and DKNY doesn’t completely live up to what people define as luxurious.