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The Public School Designers Are Totally Changing DKNY's Target Demographic

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

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Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne's debut collection for DKNY is one of NYFW's most anticipated runway shows, and the Public School designers spoke with WWD about their inspirations for the Donna Karan-diffusion line. First of all, they hint at a reason why the DKNY Girl Twitter feed was put out to pasture. "The trajectory for the DKNY girl is that she had been getting younger and younger — and younger," Chow told WWD. "But it didn’t feel authentic to what the brand was, it was too young; it was just too young for us." The new DKNY customer is not called a girl: "We always refer to her as a woman," Chow said.

DKNY's social media account remained static for weeks, displaying a single image by Peter Lindbergh from a 1994 DKNY campaign shot. But now the brand is unveiling a new DKNY logo with Franklin Gothic font.

Both Chow and Osborne say they want to evolve the imagery associated with DKNY in the recent past. "I feel like, in the past, New York was a crutch," Osborne told WWD. "The city is there, the energy is there; just need to build on that…I was looking back and it was like, ‘oh, let’s use a yellow taxi.’ We want to be cultural participants instead of trying to take from the culture."

The designers didn't share specifics for the design, but said they drew on photos from the late '80s and early '90s. They're also creating rules for to DKNY that differ from their own brand, Public School. "One goal coming into DKNY is establishing those rules of this brand," Chow told WWD, "things we’ll always do; things we’ll never do."

Today, the journey does not begin. It continues. #DKNYSS16 09.16.16 ➖➖➖

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