By Renita Manley-Garrett on
Donna Karan has stepped down from her role as chief designer of Donna Karan International to focus on her Urban Zen Company and Foundation.
She discusses her decision in a press release and in her upcoming memoir, My Journey.
“I have spent decades dressing people. Now I want to address them,” said Donna Karan.
In a statement released in June 2015, Karen announced “I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential and follow my vision of philanthropy and commerce with a focus on health care, education, and preservation of cultures. After considering the right time to take this step for several years, I feel confident that DKI has a bright future and a strong team in place.”
Karan will, however, remain an advisor to Donna Karen International.
Donna Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation in 2008 as an alternative treatment approach to caring for the medical conditions of humans. Instead of focusing on illness, Karan’s foundation focuses on the human. The foundation has since developed to encompass a wide, but selective, spectrum of areas directly related to advancing the human condition.
The Urban Zen Foundation creates, connects, and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures, and empowering children. The foundation designs forums, partners with existing organizations, and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action as stated on the foundation’s website.
In excerpts released from her upcoming memoir entitled " My Journey", scheduled to be released on October 13th, Karan elaborates briefly on stepping down from Donna Karen International and embarking on her humanitarian endeavors.
“I’ve been asking myself, who and what is Donna Karan? Is it a brand? A dress? A person? Where does my story go from here? I wish I could tell you I have it all mapped out, but I don’t. I’m nervous and confused, but excited.
“For more than 30 years, I signed my fashion-show press releases, ‘To be continued…’ That was the only way I could let a collection go down the runway, because my creative process is ongoing. I am never done. There’s always something to add: a last-minute thought, an idea I need more time to execute. I feel that way now. There’s so much I want to do: hotels, condos, furniture, and yes, fashion. But my biggest focus is on Urban Zen…”
To learn more about the Urban Zen Foundation and how you can get involved, visit urbanzen.org.
Excerpts From My Journey by Donna Karan, © 2015, published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Copyright © 2015 Look to the Stars