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November 29, 2016

Seven Questions with Donna Karan

We sat down with the designer over coffee.

When Donna Karan made a name for herself in 1985, it started with “Seven Easy Pieces.” The foundation of her line was this: All a woman needed were seven easy, interchangeable pieces to create a full wardrobe for any occasion. (The OG seven were a body suit, a versatile skirt, a pair of loose trousers, a tailored jacket, a cashmere sweater, a white shirt.)

Karan stepped down from her eponymous label in 2015 and turned her eyes to a new project: Urban Zen. Branded as “conscious consumerism,” Urban Zen is a line filled with timeless fashion pieces, much like Karan’s original seven. The clothing is paired with the Urban Zen Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for causes close to Karan’s heart (a major focus being health care).

“I do not believe in giving money,” Karan says. “I believe in making a difference. You need to dress and address people. That means listening to their problems and helping them find a solution.”

Karan’s passion quickly became “putting the care back in health care” after her husband lost his battle with cancer. One of the places she’s working to do that is Haiti. The tropical island has been repeatedly devastated by natural disasters, and Urban Zen has worked to bring education and jobs back to the country.

In honor of the spirit of her original seven easy pieces, here’s seven easy questions we asked the designer:

Seven Easy Questions

with Donna Karan

Red Lip or Nude?

Nude, because I love heavy black eyeliner. You can’t do both.

Heels or Flats?

Definitely flats.

Black or White?


Statement or Subtle Jewelry?

Both. I like strong jewelry but that isn’t in your face. That’s why I love monochromatic jewelry with a look.

Blowout or Ponytail?


Cocktail or Wine?

Cocktail. I drink vodka with Club Soda.

Winter or Summer?