This year, the CTC&G Innovation in Design Awards (IDAs) honored Elizabeth Eakins “the uber rug lady” and sister publication, HC&G recognized Martha Stewart for forever changing the joy we have in our homes, our gardens and our tables. This month, we will honor Donna Karan at the NYC&G IDAs. I first met Donna in the mid-1980s, when I was the publisher of Self. She was already a celebrated fashion designer, and our sister publications at Condé Nast (think Vogue, Glamour, and Mademoiselle) covered her extensively. Then one night, at a prominent fashion gala, I got to know her a little better: Always gracious and friendly, she told me how much she loved Self for its focus on well-being and self-actualization. I was thrilled.
In the ensuing years she deeply embraced wellness, and by 2007 had founded the Urban Zen Foundation as the fulfillment of a dream “not just to dress people, but to address them as well.” Sales of furniture and accessories from her stores help fund the foundation, aiding in the preservation of culture, wellbeing and education in post-earthquake Haiti, among many other initiatives.
Donna’s philanthropy and commerce credo ranges from her leadership of the 7th on Sale to launching (along with the late Harper’s Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis) Super Saturday, which benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance. Join us October 16, as we present Donna Karan with the 2017 Innovator Award at the Rainbow Room, atop Rockefeller Center in New York City. To purchase tickets, visit cottagesgardens.com/nycgidas. See you there!