Donna Karan Co.’s Initially President Julius Stern Dies at 97 – WWD



A graveside company will take area Thursday afternoon for Julius (“Julie”) Stern, Donna Karan Co.’s to start with president, who died Wednesday at Mt. Sinai Queens. He was 97.

Born Feb. 12, 1925, Stern was most effective identified as “Papa Julie” at the Donna Karan Co.,  which he joined in 1984 immediately after Donna Karan left Anne Klein to establish her have label. Stern experienced beforehand worked with Karan at Anne Klein as senior vice president of merchandising for The Anne Klein Team. He also served as president of the Garment Center Synagogue.

“He had a amazing life,” mentioned Donna Karan Thursday. “If any individual in my existence genuinely followed and cared for me, it was Julie. He was like a father. After I remaining Anne Klein, they let me consider just one individual and it was Stern, and he turned my president.”

Karan stated Stern “was constantly by my facet. I was a newborn then,” said Karan, who commenced coming up with beneath her own selection at 26 many years outdated. She famous that Stern was an skilled in materials “and I’m like a cloth nut,” she mentioned. “He was my proper arm, my left arm, he was my all the things. No make any difference how aged he was, he experienced all the strength and all the really like,” she explained.

In 1984, when Karan remaining Anne Klein to create her own label, Stern arrived with her as president of The Donna Karan Co., even before the to start with line was revealed. At that time, Karan was named chief executive officer, and ahead of that had been jointly coming up with Anne Klein with Louis Dell’Olio. The Donna Karan Co. was financed by Takihyo Co., a Japanese textile and apparel agency whose chairman was Tomio Taki, which was the the vast majority proprietor of Anne Klein & Co., Frank Mori, president of Anne Klein & Co., and Karan.

Stern started dealing with Karan’s presidential responsibilities although also ending up his work at Anne Klein.

Karan and Stern had been so related that when Karan went into labor with her daughter, Gabby, she called Stern at 5 a.m. in the early morning and questioned him to occur above. When he asked wasn’t her partner heading to be there to enable her, Karan claimed she preferred to give Stern notes. He got there at 6 a.m., even though she was possessing contractions, and she gave him notes about the garments.

Patti Cohen, who was govt vice president of international communications and community relations at Donna Karan added, “We would go to him for all the things.”

Stephen Ruzow, former president and chief running officer of Donna Karan Global, recalled that Stern was managing the women’s selection organization as president when he got there in 1989.

“He was a teddy bear. He was a prosperity of understanding. He was ready to perform very nicely with Donna which was not simple,” mentioned Ruzow. He stated that Stern was fundamentally responsible for almost everything that experienced to do with Donna’s women’s selection from getting the cloth, working with Donna on colours and remaining liable for production. “He was normally a essential part of generating the collection get the job done,” he explained.

Questioned how Karan and Stern worked jointly, Ruzow recalled that Stern would check with: “Why do we require 40 shades of red cashmere, would not six be ample?”

“Donna actually seemed up to him, just about as a father determine. They fought but just about the way you would struggle with your kids. The like is always there,” said Ruzow. He pointed out that Stern held a equivalent posture earlier at Anne Klein.

In a WWD tale in 2004 recognizing Karan’s 20th anniversary under her possess label, Stern explained to WWD: “There’s a good deal of sameness amongst the way Anne Klein was working with issues and the way Donna deals with items. Anne did not know anything at all about revenue and Donna is the similar way — not that she does not know how to make money, but as considerably as figures are involved. She’s just an motor that retains going. She also doesn’t know deadlines and schedules — individuals were our largest fights.”

This story is in progress.

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