The Anne Klein label was established in 1968 as a partnership with famed fashion guru Gunther Oppenheim. In 1971, Klein met Tomio Taki from Takihyo who approached her to enter a joint-venture to manufacture in the Far-East with materials bought in Europe for sale in the US and Japan.
There was great contention among Taki, Oppenheim, and Rubenstein regarding Anne's successor. Taki wanted to elevate the assistant designer, but Oppenheim and Rubenstein wanted a name-brand designer to take the helm. At the time, Taki had the largest individual stake in the company so his equity position allowed him to promote the assistant Donna Karan, who a decade later became a household name.
The success of the Anne Klein brand led to the development of the first bridge-line in American fashion, Anne Klein II. A line with a price point just under designer-label fashion yet still much better quality than better, moderate, and budget lines while maintaining a similar look.