Donna Karan inspired by nature
Donna Karan draws inspiration from rocks, streetlights and sand on a beach for her fashion collections.
The designer has been in the industry for more than 30 years and recently retired from her namesake label and DKNY, but continues to feels passionate about her creations. Donna, who has written about her experiences in new memoir My Journey, sees ideas for colours and new clothing everywhere she goes.
“Clothes speak to me,” she said in an interview with Today Style. “Fabric, sand on a beach or even tall buildings and streetlights would suddenly speak to me. I can't explain why some things say, 'Hello,' and some things don't but it's all important: the shapes, colour of water, even rocks. Rocks are significant to me because the shades of them became the colours for my menswear line."
The 67-year-old fashion star admits it was a tough decision to put some distance between herself and her labels. Although she will miss being so involved in shows and collections, Donna realised she needed to consider her health, her loved ones and other passion projects.
"I was just spread too thin between the fashion, my family and Urban Zen (her latest endeavour aimed at impacting healthcare, education and culture worldwide),” she said. "This is a very difficult time to have made that decision because I never thought I would ever do that even though I kept saying I would one day...
“I do see the clock ticking a little bit more than I would have a few years ago. I'm very childlike but in my reality when I see my years, I wonder, 'How much can I really do?' I'm not as energised as I used to be.”
Donna missed just one spring collection during the three decades she spent as chief executive and designer of her business - September 11, 2001, following the terrorist attacks against the United States. She still has vivid memories of the events surrounding that fateful day, as she was also coming to terms with the death of her husband Stephan Weiss, who had died from lung cancer.
"That was one of the most horrendous experiences because it really did make me completely re-evaluate my entire life," she recalled. "There I was that morning, I had just lost my husband, I had a family, I was putting together a show and all of us who had companies knew that we now had a city that needed our support. Unfortunately, it took such a horrific situation like that for people to realise that we are all one."