Thanks to the lovely Lara of Pretty Connected, I had a chance to attend the Designers and Books fair at FIT. I choose to attend “Donna Karan Connects the Dots: A Conversation with Valerie Steele” and create an opportunity to ask Donna Karan about sustainable fashion, health, and all things uplifting. Designer Donna Karen established the Urban Zen Foundation in 2007. “Inspired by the philosophies of her late husband, Stephan Weiss, Karan has incorporated his “connecting the dots” theory of art into her philanthropic approach. At Urban Zen, Karan embodies this philosophy through her partnerships with established organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, Grief and Nomad Two Worlds. Urban Zen also also encompasses a clothing line and several stores.”1
In the Q&A session, I asked about her thoughts on the place of sustainability and fair trade in fashion:
“We’ve got to re-engaged the consumer. I think recycling is so important. There are so many clothes out there…I think we need to recycle more & more.”In reference to fair trade and working with fair trade produces, Karan says “I think fair trade is really important. If we develop a consciousness of creativity, we’ll look at the world through a different lens. It is a relationship between both worlds.”
Then I got my sit down time with her after a book signing.
With all the work your doing, how do you see health and wellness? How does that fit into the scope of everything you do?
Because you just can’t dress people on the outside; It’s addressing their inside. That you can be beautiful on the outside, but if your not feeling good on the inside, nothing really matters.
Now a lot of people feel like sustainable fashion…there are some people who still feel like it’s crunchy, granola..
Not at all. There’s so much fashion that’s out there. The artistic you comes out truly when out of nothing comes something.
What is your favorite health food?
My green juice. Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, anything that’s green goes in there.
Why is that your health food of choice?
Because it gets you up on the morning. It’s better than coffee. It gives you energy. It gives you speed. It gives you the feeling of hello I’m here!