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Donna Karan Talks Fashion & Philanthropy At Bal Harbour Shops

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BAL HARBOUR (CBSMiami) – She is certainly one of the most influential fashion designers in the world.  Throughout her 40 year career, Donna Karan has left a lasting impact on the fashion world, bringing uptown-New York-chic into the mainstream.

“You get to a point in your life when all you can do is to inspire people to enjoy their life and you say what can I do? So what I think is that I now inspire other people to enjoy what I’ve enjoyed,” said Karan.

At Saks Fifth Avenue in Bal Harbour shops, on Thursday, Donna joined the President of Saks Fifth Avenue Corporation, Marigay McKee, to chat fashion, philanthropy and everything in between.

It’s almost funny that this award-winning designer whose true passion is Yoga and GIVING back, never wanted to be a fashion designer. But a chance job at Anne Klein would end up changing her life.

In 1985, Karan created her own brand while lives-on today. The Donna Karan boutique at Saks is filled with everything for spring—from gala gowns to tribal prints.

“What do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?” CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo asked Karan. “Empowered and sensual,” said Karan. “I want them to walk into a room thinking confidently about themselves, not worrying about their clothes.”

Reports are that Donna Karan sold her public company to the LVMH brand for $650 million with her staying on as head designer. Donna has put her money where her mouth is. She has won countless awards for her philanthropic works including creating a model for world healthcare called Urban Zen. Haiti is a country she’s focusing on most these days.

“I realized when I went to Haiti that the most important thing is find them jobs, they need to work. They have amazing artisans there. They made (these) purses out of paper, these gorgeous bags from woven T-shirts. All of the money we earn goes to vocational programs in Haiti that help the people move forward.”

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