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Donna Karan at her spring runway presentation at SLS Hotel


Seven easy pieces wasn't just marketing genius. It was the creation of a uniform for the modern woman. But a uniform in the most liberating sense, one that was made for the many roles a woman has to play, from work to home, hostess to parent and all places in between.

Thirty years ago when Donna Karan, then the lead designer at Anne Klein, brought the idea for what was essentially a capsule collection—seven easy pieces to build a wardrobe—to the powers that be at the brand, she couldn't have anticipated what would come next. Instead of creating a collection under the Anne Klein brand, she took the idea and some backing from Anne Klein and created Donna Karan.

Now, Donna Karan is synonymous with so many things: New York first and foremost, independence, femininity and a certain level of confidence enabled by a thoughtful wardrobe. Last month, Donna Karan presented her 30th anniversary collection to a packed house of celebrities, influencers and contemporaries. As part of the year-long celebration of this milestone anniversary, Donna Karan put on a runway presentation of her Spring collection, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue, at the SLS hotel in south beach.

We stole a few minutes with the fashion powerhouse to reflect on her epic career.

What do you think your greatest contribution to fashion has been?
Understanding a woman's body. Her life—her whole thing. How she feels, what she wears. What she's doing. It's not just about her clothes. It's about dressing. I understand the sensuality of a woman.

Would you say there's an emotional connection to what you do?
I understand how to make her life a little bit easier. I understand her confusion. How to accent her positive and alleviate the negative. How to engage her into making a difference in the world.

You're celebrating 30 years now, do you have a vision of what 50 years will look like?
I think I'm going to be out there in the world more. There's a lot of work I have to do. Work with developing countries, just getting out there and working with people. And I can bring it into my company and get more of it out there.

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