Fashion development group to honor Donna Karan

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — An organization that works on global development through fashion plans to honor Donna Karan for her work with artisans in Haiti and around the world.

Fashion 4 Development, a partner of the United Nations' millennium development initiative, will award the New York-based designer its medal of honor at a luncheon Sept. 23 at The Pierre hotel.

Karan's work around the world aimed at fostering sustainable economies, creating jobs and developing art education were cited for the honor. Her foundation, Urban Zen, develops markets and presents the work of artisans in Haiti in the U.S. and elsewhere.

She has designed and curated an artisan collection called "Naturally Haiti," working with artisans who create recycled T-shirts, handbags, tobacco leaf vases, wood chandeliers and horn jewelry sold in Urban Zen stores and her retail partners.

Urban Zen has a partnership with artisan Paula Coles in Haiti for a vocational education training center to open next spring in Port-au-Prince. The training center is a commitment Karan made through the Clinton Global Initiative to train artisans in creating jewelry, handbags, accessories and other items.

Karan has shot two ad campaigns in Haiti starring model Adriana Lima, showcasing the country's beauty and creativity. She is an honorary U.S. ambassador to the country.