In this candid memoir, renowned designer Donna Karan shares intimate details about her lonely childhood, her four-plus decades in the fashion industry, her two marriages, motherhood, and her ongoing quest for self-acceptance and spiritual peace. Donna Karan was born into the fashion business her father was a tailor, and her mother was a showroom model and Seventh Avenue saleswoman yet Karan dreamed of becoming a dancer like Martha Graham or a singer like Barbra Streisand. Fashion was her destiny, though. "My Journey" traces Karan s early days as an intern at Anne Klein, the creation of her Seven Easy Pieces (which forever changed the way working women dressed), and the meteoric rise of her company. Along with juicy industry stories, Karan candidly discusses her difficult mother and traumatic childhood, her turbulent romantic life, all the loved ones she has lost over the years, and the personal awakening that occurred just as she reached the height of professional and financial success. That awakening set Karan down a path of spiritual discovery and self-improvement. From est to Kabbalah, from silent retreats to leech therapy, Karan tried everything to find, as she writes, calm in the chaos. But she also reveals how a chaotic life, fueled by endless curiosity and childlike impulses, helped her design seminal collections season after season for global powerhouse brands Donna Karan New York and DKNY. She also details how she has channeled her creativity (and her urge to solve problems and nurture others) into philanthropic work, particularly her early outspoken advocacy for AIDS awareness and research, and the creation of her Urban Zen Foundation, focusing on integrated healthcare and education as well as preservation of culture, which led to her current efforts in Haiti. Karan s life has been crowded with glamorous characters and adventures around the world. But she sometimes still feels like that awkward teen from Long Island who never fit in which makes her all the more endearing. Brimming with Karan s infectious energy, "My Journey" is about much more than the fashion world: It is the story of a young woman whose vision and hard work made her a role model for women everywhere a woman who dreamed big, fought to have it all, broke the rules, and loved passionately along the way. Advance praise for "My Journey" Donna s creativity and passion as a committed philanthropist are matched only by her gift for friendship. Whether she s making the world more beautiful or giving a Haitian artisan the tools to create a sustainable business, Donna has always led with great heart and wonderful humor. President Bill Clinton What we take for granted often comes from the most revolutionary of sources. In New York in the 1980s, no one was more radical than Donna Karan. She created a way of dressing that was womanly, practical, and empowering. Anna Wintour "My Journey" is the story of an extraordinary personal, professional, and spiritual life. It s a journey defined by Donna s incredible resilience, her inward search for calm in the midst of success, and her insistence on always following her heart. Arianna Huffington Anyone who has ever watched Donna Karan in the dressing room with one of her loyal customers has witnessed a bond between designer and client that is as vital as an umbilical cord. That same bond is present on every page of this memoir. Ingrid Sischy Donna demonstrates unwavering passion and commitment to women, family, design and all of humanity with her immense philanthropic work. Her story is fascinating! Calvin Klein"
Donna Karan was born in Queens and raised on Long Island, New York. She attended Parsons School of Design before beginning her career with an internship at Anne Klein, where she rose to head designer in 1974 at age twenty-five. She and her husband, Stephan Weiss, founded Donna Karan International, launching the Donna Karan New York collection in 1985, DKNY in 1989, and a beauty line in 1992. Karan s philanthropic efforts are extensive: A longtime board member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), she conceived its Seventh on Sale benefit to raise funds for AIDS awareness and education, and has co-chaired the New York Kids for Kids event for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Since 1993 she has co-chaired Super Saturday, an annual designer flea market/barbecue to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. In 2007, Karan established Urban Zen, a luxury lifestyle brand and foundation that addresses wellness, education, and the preservation of culture through their artisan communities, most notably in Haiti where she is now partnering with Parsons School of Design for vocational education. The CFDA has honored Karan six times; in 2004 she received its Lifetime Achievement Award. Karan has a daughter, Gabby Karan de Felice; two stepchildren, Corey and Lisa Weiss; and a total of seven grandchildren."