Haute 100 NYC: Donna Karan’s Surprising Next Venture

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Donna Karan

Last week we reported Donna Karan, who is touted as one of fashion’s most visionary female designers, stepped down from her namesake company to focus her energy into her lifestyle brand Urban Zen.

For 31 years, Karan has been at the helm of the Donna Karan International and her contemporary line DKNY. She founded the company with her late husband Stephen Weiss.

While fashionistas were saddened by Karan’s departure, it has been announced she will remain an adviser to the brand. So what’s next for the New York native? In a recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Karan shared what she has in store for the next chapter of her life.

When asked how does she plan to reinvent herself, Karan replied, “The motorcycle diary. I really want to spend a lot of time traveling. My dream is to be on a motorcycle, on the back, and go to places that haven’t been sought out yet and work with the artisans. The thing I love about Haiti the most is Haiti has the health-care aspect, the educational aspect and the preservation of culture aspect. For me, Bali is my inspiration, always has been, always will be. My dream is to build a bamboo village in Haiti. I do believe in Urban Zen living very much. I have a dream for Urban Zen. You walk into the store and there’s cotton, cashmere, candles, CDs, café, all healthy food. You get upstairs and you meditate, do yoga, there’s a conference area. People come together who want to create change in the world. Then you disrobe upstairs and you get a Thai massage, acupuncture. Next door to that is a restaurant and living space upstairs. We don’t have to have a kitchen because you get it from downstairs. There’s a spa upstairs. People like myself are constantly on the go, so I need my acupuncture, I need my massage. I need all these things, and it doesn’t exist.”

Karan has always been synonymous with philanthropy so it’s no surprise she hopes to return to Haiti and continue to help preserve the country’s artistry and expression. The 66-year-old designer was introduced to the Caribbean country by President Bill Clinton, and the Clinton Global Initiative.

Karan also revealed the last chapter of the manuscript for her new book is due next Monday. We can expect the book to be a “tell all.” It is slated to be released Oct. 2, on Karan’s birthday.

Read the entire interview here.

(Photo via Instagram)

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