Lynn Eleanor Kohlman (1946-2008)

Fashion model, photographer, author, and creative director at DKNY



Lynn Eleanor Kohlman (August 12, 1946 – September 14, 2008) was a fashion model, photographer, author, and creative director at DKNY.

She was born in Teaneck, New Jersey to Clement Wolfe Kohlman (1916-2000). She majored in art history at Oberlin College, graduating summa cum laude, and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. After graduating, she spent time in Florence, Italy, helping restore works of art.

She began as a fashion model in the late 1960s, and appeared on the covers of major fashion magazines. In 1968 she became engaged to Arnold LaGuardia. In the 1970s, she was a photographer for Interview, Vogue, GQ and Glamour. In 1989 she was appointed the fashion director of the Donna Karan Company and later was involved with Tommy Hilfiger’s launch of his women’s wear line. In 2002, she was diagnosed first with breast cancer, then with glioblastoma multiforme. She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She said of her cancer “One day while I was going through all this [the mastectomy], two friends stopped by my New York apartment. I told them, ‘This wouldn’t be so bad, but my breasts were the best part of my body.’ And one of them said: ‘Pick something else.’ So I decided to love my legs, which had always been the least favorite part of my body. Today I feel more beautiful than I ever did, which is one of the main reasons the book is called Front to Back.”

Kohlman on the Oprah Winfrey show on October 21, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.