Donna Karan has always been a visionary. The legendary designer revolutionized women’s work and leisure wear after launching her company in 1984 based on the idea of “Seven Easy Pieces,” built around a yoga-style bodysuit inspired by her love of yoga and dance. She took her company public in 1996, sold it to the French luxury brand LVMH in 2000, and, a bit reluctantly, retired from the business in 2015.
But the visionary doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Instead, Karan has branched out, launching Urban Zen, a small luxury collection of bohemian clothes she’s selling at her own store and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as a company called Urban Zen Integrated Therapy, to bring alternative healing treatments into traditional medicine, she told The Washington Post. Karan saw the need for Urban Zen while taking care of her husband, Stephen Weiss, as he was dying of lung cancer and realized that the hospital staff, while very focused on his disease, seemed less focused on caring for him. She partnered with UCLA Medical Center and Beth Israel hospital to bring reiki, aromatherapy, and yoga into the hospital setting.
Karan’s also been expanding her reach globally, working with the Clinton Global Initiative to help artisans in Haiti expand their own businesses in the wake of the 2010 earthquake there. On Monday, Karan received the Founders Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America celebrating her wide-ranging work within and outside of the fashion industry. And if she has one more thing she wants to accomplish, Karan said she’s long dreamed of one day dressing a woman president.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.