Celebrity Invention: Donna Karan's 'Vintage' Wristwatch

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for celebrityinvention.jpgSome celebrities aren't just pretty faces. A few of them are also touched with that Yankee prowess for tinkering and invention. In this weekly series, we introduce you to the Patents of the Rich and Famous. And maybe you learn a little bit about how patent literature works along the way.

Inventor: Donna Ivy Faske a.k.a Donna Karan

Known For: It's a classic American tale. A Long Island girl -- her father a tailor, her mother a model -- Donna Karan always had a passion for fashion. At the age of 14 she began selling clothing and, four years later, headed to Parsons School of Design to learn the trade. After two years she left to work for Anne Klein. She worked her way up the Anne Klein ladder, becoming the head of the design team. After ten years of that, she decided to break off and start her own line.

DKNYedit.jpgInvented Apparatus: "Watch"

It's a design patent for a pretty '90s looking watch:

An ornamental design for a watch, as shown described. The watch has two embodiments, one of a man's style watch and one of woman's style watch.

The application contains 13 drawings, which showcase the watch from all sides, even though it looks the same from every angle. Maybe that's the point?

Rationale Behind Invention: In the '80s Donna Karan was big. In the '90s she got even bigger. Throughout the decade she launched new lines, including an accessories arm. This patent, which was filed in 1993 and issued in 1995, was a part of that extension.

Off-Label Uses: Yes, the '90s are back. We imagine teenage girls rifling through their moms' late 20th century jewelry collection, looking for some vintage finds and coming across this Donna Karan wristwatch -- fashion gold! When jealous fashionistas ask "Where did you get that rad watch?" They can coolly respond, "Oh, it's vintage."

Future Directions: '90s fashions won't be in forever. Maybe Karan can update the design to reflect the next retro trend? Calculator watch? Baby-G? What could be next!

Peruse more Celebrity Inventions.

Presented by

Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.


Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.


The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.


Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.


Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses


Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In