Style File: Donna Karan Hearts Haiti

Style File
thumbnail Donna Karan Hearts Haiti
Apr 11th 2013, 17:22

Donna Karan has a special place in her heart for Haiti. After an earthquake devastated the country in 2010, Karan launched Urban Zen—a foundation that aims to raise awareness, inspire change, preserve Haitian culture, and empower children. “In my travels throughout Haiti, I realized that the solution for rebuilding the country could be found in the inherent creativity of the people,” Karan told This concept is at the core of her latest project, Fashion for Haiti: One Million Hearts. In partnership with eBay and the CFDA, Karan’s Urban Zen enlisted almost 150 CFDA designers to adorn and customize papier-mâché hearts—each of which was crafted by Haitian artist Magali Dresse.

Prabal Gurung jumped at the chance to help and designed hearts using fabric from his Fall ’13 collection. “[My Fall] inspiration was female empowerment, which I felt was appropriate to this cause,” said Gurung. Maria Cornejo wanted to make something “warm and textured,” and covered her hearts in red pony skin and stretch leather. Meanwhile, Pamela Love explained that her heart is meant to represent the third eye. Along with brands like Calvin Klein, Band of Outsiders, Oscar de la Renta, and Narciso Rodriguez (just to name a few), Karan created a slew of hearts, too. One series captures the youthful spirit of DKNY, one is for Urban Zen (”They represent my nomadic side,” said Karan), and one is for the Donna Karan line—we have to say, these are particularly adorable. “These are an expression of the feminine,” Karan told us. “They’re a beautiful, sensual woman’s heart.” All of the one-off objets d’hearts will be put up for auction on eBay, from April 22 through May 2. All proceeds will benefit Urban Zen’s Artisan program, which is dedicated to creating jobs and vocational education, as well as highlighting the creativity of Haiti’s artisans.

—Katharine K. Zarrella

Photos: Courtesy of Urban Zen

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