URBAN ZEN: DONNA KARAN’S PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING  by Kim Coston

URBAN ZEN: DONNA KARAN’S PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING

donna zenIn a time when many fashion businesses are flagging, with consumers spending more on experiences than apparel, trend star designer Donna Karan responds with Urban Zen. After building her highly successful $3 billion business, Donna Karan walked away from her fashion empire to focus on this new passion.

Donna Karan’s new “philosophy of living” universe combines modern, edgy, uniquely feminine fashion with helping people. Collections feature season-less, sensual basics, extraordinary accessories and jewelry, and home decor handmade by artisans, in countries like Haiti, Thailand and Bali. An Urban Zen lifestyle store should have cashmere, cotton, organic food, CDs, candles and a café, yoga, meditation, Thai massage, acupuncture. Urban Zen stores also have meeting places for creating change in the world.The next step in the rollout of product and retail stores will be a yoga line this fall.

urban zen interiorAfter having succeeded with Donna Karan and DKNY, the next journey for this designer was to find calm in chaos, to make a difference in this world, to find purpose in philanthropy and commerce. She has been on this journey for a decade, and Urban Zen is now an omnichannel enterprise in a handful of select stores, including Bergdorf Goodman. The digital flagship store is a key growth component and communicator for Urban Zen.

Beyond the retail environment, the Urban Zen Foundation specializes in educational, health and employment issues in developing countries and the U.S., creating, connecting and collaborating to raise awareness, preserve culture and inspire change.

donna karan in haiti“Not only from the fashion point of view, this is from the culture, the artisan point of view, and to really talk to the consumer,” says the designer who – over thirty years ago – liberated woman’s bodies with a comfortable, sensual, 7-easy-pieces-wardrobe for day and night.

As described by Donna Karan, founder of the Haiti Artisan project, “The project promotes economic development through job creation and vocational education, helps raise awareness and highlights the creativity of Haiti’s artisans. Ten percent of net proceeds from the Haiti Artisan Project supports our foundation’s efforts in Haiti.”

karan and waltersIn 2015, Barbara Walters named Donna Karan one of her 10 Most Fascinating People, the first time ever for a fashion designer.

Donna Karan sums up the spirit of the Haiti Artisan project, “Where there is creativity there is hope. And Haiti is the most hopeful place I’ve experienced.”

Information:
Urban Zen retail website:urbanzen.com
Urban Zen Foundation: urbanzen.org

 


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