Most fashion and luxury goods enthusiasts often ask ‘Is DKNY a good brand? DKNY is one of the most popular fashion houses to combine luxury and wearability. From silk to high-quality knits, DKNY has continued to evolve with the times while also staying within reach of many. Yet, when talking about what really makes a good brand, we have to analyze several factors and facets of the brand itself. So today we find out, is DKNY a good brand?
Is DKNY a Luxury Brand?
Despite its success, DKNY is defined as ‘accessible luxury,’ which does not run on the same level as stores such as Gucci or Dior, but is simultaneously well above prevalent fast-fashion block stores like H&M or Gap. Though their designs never particularly verge on the side of revolutionary, their designs have remained those with universal likability and their silhouettes are largely the same, with an ability to incorporate many body types and individual styles.
DKNY is a fashion house based in New York City. The company was founded in 1984 by Donna Karan, an American fashion designer who has worked for labels such as Anne Klein. Inspired by a desire to create more affordable pieces that still rang true to the quality of the designer, Karan pursued DKNY with the hustling and bustling edgy New York woman in mind.
Eventually, the brand branched out into a variety of clothing articles and beauty products. In terms of its status in the realm of luxury clothing, DKNY has usually ranked the 26th most popular luxury brand and holds a regular spot on the runway during New York fashion week.
However, when discussing how DKNY stands among other brands, the company has historically been labeled as an ‘inbetweener’ of sorts.
Many pieces from DKNY, whether it be in-store or online exclusives, are available for under two hundred and even one hundred dollars. Consequently, its price range and relative ‘tameness’ in the style world contribute to its status as a genuine quality, but not a luxury brand.
Perhaps their story would have been different if it had not been for the brand’s rollercoaster ride through the 2010s. Prior to the Great Recession, which changed various big-name fashion stores forever, DKNY was potentially on its way to larger-scale projects.
In 2001, DKNY was purchased by LVMH, a French agency that represented brands such as Louis Vuitton. Though their newly found connection with the agency brought them the closest the brand had ever been to luxury, their partnership was short-lived. LVMH sold Donna Karan’s designs to another French-owned conglomerate for $650 million.
Don’t let big numbers fool you because this seemingly large figure was reportedly thousands of dollars lower than their valuation during the previous decade. Some have said that because of the financial situation and pressure that was put on the brand a short time before the landmark sale, it may have played a part in Donna Karan stepping down as head of the company.
DKNY did eventually make it to the market for trading, the company’s new leadership has been much less successful in managing and returning it to its former height in popularity.
Good Brand vs. Luxury Brand
So now we have to ask, what’s the difference between luxury and just a solidly good brand? After all, if DKNY was created as an accessible, stylish way of clothing oneself, it essentially brings the brand further to street style. We often think that luxury means exclusivity and in particular, that the price of something makes only a select group of people able to buy it.
As much as something can feel luxurious, it comes down to the actual fabric, sophistication, creativity, and longevity of the overall design. When comparing Prada from Shien, it’s easier to sort out the differences, but when it comes to sorting out DKNY from overpriced stores with poor quality, there is always a certain checklist to take into consideration.
Does this brand have superior performance? Can you see and feel the craftsmanship? Will this piece make me feel like an individual rather than just another mannequin? Do the designs indicate fresh thinking with an air of sophistication and timelessness? If the brand cannot meet all requirements, it may not be luxury, but if it can meet more than half, you’ve found a good brand you can trust, which is frankly, more valuable than any ‘luxury’ item on the market.
Is DKNY a Men’s Brand?
Now as previously mentioned, DKNY has a variety of options for all people, including men’s clothing. Today, they have expanded their menswear line and have a variety of denim, slacks, and even stylish loungewear made from a range of fabrics, such as linen, cotton, wool, and silk. They also carry a selection of jackets and coats.
DKNY’s menswear collections usually have a focus on building a solid, yet fresh, outfit and overall classic wardrobe that will stay with you for years to come, which includes their well-crafted three-piece and two-piece suits.
Aside from their collections sold on the DKNY site, they also have a collaboration with Macy’s, which is currently selling now. From casual to a night on the town, their men’s section is majority form-fitting and sticks to neutral tones with a pop of color here and there. To boot, the majority of their pieces are well-reviewed.
Is DKNY a Girl Brand?
While DKNY does not sell children’s clothing, specifically girl’s clothing on their direct website, they do have multiple lines available with various outlets, such as Bloomingdales, FarFetch, Childrensalon, and Nicki’s.
Girlswear from DKNY ranges from casual street style to semi-formal and most pieces in their collections offer a playful and whimsical touch, while still sticking to a majority neutral color palette (though it should be noted, they do showcase a bit more color in their designs).
Their designs are equally as wearable and durable, with many outfits being suited for several occasions in one, perfect for your little city girl. Furthermore, their price range is quite affordable, going from $60 to $200.
Is DKNY a Good Brand for Handbags?
DKNY is not necessarily known for their handbags, though they do have a wide selection. Their bags vary in size, from crossbodies to clutches, to totes. Most of their handbags showcase their signature mock lock on the front flap.
However, if you are not one for logomania, you probably won’t like these bags, as the famous DKNY letters are plastered everywhere on most of them, albeit somewhat tastefully. In terms of quality though, they, unfortunately, haven’t received the best press.
DKNY handbags are not considered as luxury bags, but rather, a mid-level ‘accessible luxury,’ much like the overall brand. Some may assume, (like me) that a handbag collection ranging from $100 to $500 should be able to last a few years after purchase.
However, between various forums and direct reviews, a good percentage of customers have found out that their bags are easily damaged after just a few months. Of course, this is disheartening, but you’re welcome to go out and find one yourself that has good reviews.
Even for those products with bad reviews, you should always take those reviews in stride because a customer’s behavior and level of use and care of their own accessories and clothing can be very significant factors that may or may not have been considered in such reviews.
Is DKNY a Good Brand for Watches?
DKNY watches offer a multitude of accessories, including watches. Ranging in price from $100 to $200, their watches are very accessible while simultaneously looking chic and versatile, with strap materials such as solid leathers and faux fur in cheetah print.
Made for men and women, their watches are aimed towards customers who like their watches for looks, rather than actually telling time. More effort is seemingly put into the aesthetics than functionality, but don’t get it twisted, while these watches are still very well-crafted, they’re simply not meant to face harsh elements with ease.
Is DKNY Perfume a Good Brand?
It might be surprising to find out that a brand that’s been associated with fashion for so long has possibly opened a new chapter with the legacy of its fragrances, but DKNY has done it.
Although they released their first perfume in 1992, DKNY has continued to expand their fragrance collection, much to the joy of their fanbase. Primarily, their ‘Be Delicious’ line, released in 2004 has been on various top 10 fragrance lists and has multiple 5-star reviews.
Their most popular scent is the original Be Delicious, with top notes of apple, magnolia, and sandalwood. Depending on your tastes, there’s bound to be one DKNY fragrance you’ll love.
There’s no doubt DKNY has something to offer for everyone and despite a bumpy road for the company in the past few years, it seems that its brand is and will find its footing once more.
So is DKNY a good brand? Yes and no. It’s certainly true that some of their brand is still going strong with a solid fanbase, but some of its other endeavors that may have been popular in previous years, are now falling back.
However, in some of the segments of the brand that they’ve obviously chosen to focus on, craftsmanship, quality, and beauty go hand in hand.