It's the end of an era at Donna Karan International. Patti Cohen, Karan's first hire and, until Friday, its executive vice president of global public relations and communications, has decided to exit the company.
"After more than three decades at Donna Karan International, Patti Cohen has decided to leave the company and we thank her for her enormous contributions," said CEO Caroline Brown in a statement. "She was a constant at the side of Donna Karan from day one and a key member of the executive team. As an important part of our history, Patti will always be a close friend to this house and we wish her much success in her next steps.”
Cohen's departure comes less than a month after the company appointed Apple's Hector Muelas as its chief image officer. This role, which had previously not existed, impacted Cohen's job, according to WWD, who broke the news of her departure. Cohen had previously overseen all marketing and communications and after Muelas's hire her responsibilities were limited to public relations and communications.
Cohen and Karan were friends before they were co-workers. They met playing tennis on Fire Island when Karan was designing for Anne Klein, and the designer hired her to help publicize Anne Klein II, one of the first designer diffusion lines. Cohen was Karan's first hire when she started her eponymous label in 1984. Cohen's role grew with the company, and she has been a permanent staple at Karan's side and at industry events.
There is no word yet on Cohen's future plans or if the brand plans to hire a replacement.