NEW YORK – Donna Karan established herself long ago as a classic, premiere American designer.
This year, her fall collection, which is in stores now, is pure New York: glamorous, secure, seductive. Foxnews.com recently caught up with the designer at the fashion industry’s largest annual fund-raiser, Super Saturday, which she hosted.
Karan talked to us about where she gets her inspiration and also about dealing with the death of her husband, Stephan Weiss, who died in June 2001 of lung cancer.
Q: How have you been able to face the many changes in your life?
A: My family is my ground, my security, my life force. If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t do what I do.
Q: Your daughter Gabby just had a baby.
A: Yes, my granddaughter just turned 6 weeks old.
Q: You look great. Is it all due to the raw food diet you’ve been on?
A. When my husband died, my whole life turned upside down. I wish I could say my weight loss was all due to eating raw food. It probably was, but you know, I wasn't very hungry either.
Q: Do you exercise?
A: I use yoga to prepare me for the day ahead, which is usually total chaos. If I miss my morning practice, I definitely feel different. I miss the sense of aliveness and the ability to deal with the unanticipated stress that can and does come up in my day at any time.
Q: Let's talk fashion. What was your inspiration for your fall 2003 collection?
A: New York has always been an inspiration for me -- the people of New York and the power of New York. I wanted to have an experience of New York as an old black-and-white photograph, but in a modern way. I thought about "The Matrix," about "Blade Runner."
Q: What kind of woman do you have in mind when you design?
A: A woman of strength, of conviction, of power and seduction. [I think of] finding a way for her to articulate who she is, as a woman and as a person who's living in this world today.
Q: What elements do you think are important in clothing?
A: Clothes have to be modern, comfortable, easy.
Q: You invented the bodysuit in the '80s. What made you bring it back?
A: I've been asked so many times, you know, where's the bodysuit? Where's the wrap-and-tie skirt? Remember all those pieces that I used to do? And it never really felt right to re-look at what I had done until now. For me, right now, it's a time to really be who you are, what you are, and expressive in the best way possible.
Karan founded her own company in l984. Super Saturday proceeds were donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.