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Cover Story: 20 to Know

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 7 of 13

As “artistic companions,” Robert Lee Morris and Donna Karan have collaborated since her first fashion show in 1985, and Morris’ jewelry has been included in many Donna Karan collections. Morris sculptures have also been featured in Donna Karan retail stores.

After 20 years of collaboration, it’s not surprising that their work together continues to expand and find new avenues. It is striking, however, that the collaboration on the Donna Karan Gold fragrance, launched in late 2006, melded Karan’s concept and Morris’ style so completely to garner kudos from fragrance insiders and the industry in general, while also affecting consumers.
The scent is designed to capture the warmth of gold through Casablanca lily, amber, golden balsam, gold pollen, East Indian patchouli and other notes.

Morris—whose jewelry is designed to illuminate the body and takes its inspiration from nature, myth and fantasy—applied his signature technique in the hammered gold metal sleeve to represent the spirit of the scent and reflect both inner softness and outer strength.

Working to fuse the spiritual and the sensual, Morris’ designs have been described as both “cerebral” and “intuitive,” and his signature shapes “capture the strength and grace of liquid geometry,” and this facet of the design for Gold aptly reflects the liquid within.

Furthermore, in conversations with fragrance insiders and designers, a texture motif sounds repeatedly as an effective element in both expressing a product ideal and connecting with consumers—a consumer must first be enticed to pick up a product to make a purchase and that texture is key to such enticement. The intention with Gold was that the bottle simply begged to be touched.