An icon of the fashion industry; there are very few people who are not familiar with the design work of Donna Karen. Donna was born into fashion; My father was a tailor and my mother was a fashion model so I thought that [fashion] was the one thing I never wanted to do. Of course whatever we don't want, that's what happens, she recalled in a sit down with Deepak Chopra. It seems that Donna was destined for a career in the fashion industry and since her start with Anne Klein in the 1960s, her rise through the fashion world has been meteoric. What is perhaps less widely known is Donna's work with Urban Zen.
Urban Zen emerged from the fact that there is so much chaos in this world and Donna's belief that it wasn't what you were wearing on the outside but what you were wearing on the inside" that was going to make the largest impact. After dealing with health issues in her own family Donna realized that illness affects everyone. Nobody gets away with this, she explained to Deepak. We're all going to be patients and we're all going to be loved ones and the problem that I saw with the healthcare system was that there was no care in healthcare."
Donna's vision was for a healthcare system that not only focused on the medical needs of the patient but also that the entire experience didn't have to be scary and impersonal. Beyond even medical needs, her vision expanded to be all inclusive of the community. The communities we live in should have space for all of our needs whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual. Life cannot be compartmentalized and so our communities must have the capacity to meet far more of our needs than they often do. When we buy a perfume or a handbag, we should be able to find a product that not only suits our needs but also suits the needs of each person and each community involved in production.
Urban Zen has allowed Donna to focus on making mindful impact with consumers and craftsmen, doctors and patients, and the global community as a whole. The detail oriented way she approached high fashion is now making a significant difference at Urban Zen.
24:26 | 2013