Celebrity Invention: Donna Karan's 'Vintage' Wristwatch

By Rebecca Greenfield

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/celebrity-invention-donna-karans-vintage-wristwatch/240235/