In 1985, American designer Donna Karan made a name for herself by debuting a simple yet poignant collection of seven essential pieces rendered in an all-black color scheme: a bodysuit, sheer black tights, wrap skirt, loose-fitting trousers, tailored jacket, cashmere sweater and white dress shirt. Her runway show featured models assembling a variety of outfits that interchanged these pieces. While it can be argued that the items were already stalwarts in the American woman’s closet, it was Karan’s emphasis on them as the only pieces one needed to build an efficient wardrobe that made them fresh. Particularly during a time when women’s roles were expanding in the workplace, Karan’s method was seen as a power move. Business of Fashion describes it as a “conceptual shift in fashion.” By highlighting these pieces as buildable in nature and easy to wear, Karan shifted the function of a wardrobe from one that women worked to fit within, into one that worked with their lives.

Follow Britnie on instagram here.