Designer Chat: Donna Karan
by Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard
Twenty-five years after launching her now world-famous clothing line, American designer Donna Karan continues to export her brand of chic, New York City-inspired minimalism to the world stage. She recently made a stop at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, presenting a particularly seductive Spring collection that evoked weathered canvases and the power of the elements—sky, water, wind, sand, earth and fire. “I look at a person not from the outside but from what’s going on inside,” says Karan. “I’m able to address and dress the issues.”
That passion for addressing issues on a larger scale can be seen in Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation, whose retail stores by the same name benefit health care, education and the preservation of culture. Oddly enough, a fascination with culture may have made this writing assignment more difficult for Karan; she attended the show with her arm in a cast (hence our subtitles). “I was in Australia with the Aborigines in a burial cave and I broke my arm. You wanted to know about my spiritual quest. There it is.”
What do you consider “Miami style”?
DONNA KARAN: Sun—fun—spirit
Which up-and-coming designer are you particularly impressed with and why?
DK: Haider Ackermann... sexy, simple, day-to-night
What item of clothing do you wear too often?
DK: Urban Zen necklace from Senegal
What’s your greatest indulgence in life?
Where will you vacation this summer?
DK: Tibet, India, Indonesia, Africa
What are the fashion trends you’re most excited about for spring?
DK:Natural, long, feminine, sensual
AG Jeans design director Mark Wiesmayr and stylist Jeanann Williams on denim's cultural footprint.