Donna Karan wants to raise awareness of “conscious consumerism”.
The designer’s latest venture is a pop-up shopping environment called the Urban Zen Holiday Marketplace. The small space opened last weekend in New York’s West Village at the Stephan Weiss Studio and sells artisanal items from all over the globe.
Donna’s aim is to make a philanthropic difference with these pieces, such as handmade jewellery and handbags.
“I always feel it’s about the artisans. There are so many people who are really on this path right now so I said, ‘Why don’t we celebrate the whole concept of conscious consumerism, of buying something and giving back and making a difference in somebody’s life?’” she told WWD.
Brands such as Elvis & Kresse and The Caliber Collection are included in the shop, along with offerings by the Sheila Johnson Collection and The FEED Foundation. A portion of each sale is to be given to the brand’s charity of choice.
Donna is happy to help fund different causes and even purchases items herself.
“I have always talked about dressing and addressing. It’s not only what you’re wearing on the outside but also on the inside. There is a soul there, an artisan hand. There is a conscious way of doing business,” she added. “Every time I walk in here, I buy. I bought the jewellery, I really want to buy everything.”
Although it is a Holiday venture, Donna is aiming to keep the project going for longer. She also has plans to expand the venue.
“I don’t think the Soulful Economy is just about the holiday season,” she explained. “Hopefully I will be able to keep it up through fashion week. We want to open a little coffee bar here. That’s our next move: ‘Come here, buy a cup of coffee and a whole lot more.’”
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