Bespoken: Donna Karan

Iconic fashion designer, philanthropist, yoga missionary, and onetime deodorant spokeswoman

Photograph by Ruven Afandor

You’ve just opened your first Urban Zen store in L.A., which sells furniture, housewares, and accessories handcrafted by artisans from developing nations.
Urban Zen isn’t just a store, it’s a foundation [created] to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures, and empowering children. We are planning on working with local organizations to do just that in L.A.

Any particular ones?
Right now we are working with the UCLA Medical Center to adopt the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy, or UZIT, program, which delivers yoga therapy, Reiki, essential oils therapy, nutrition, and contemplative care at the bedside.

Why Los Angeles?
I’ve always considered myself a bicoastal person. I love L.A.—the open sky and people’s connectedness to mind, body, and soul. Comfort and ease is at the root of everything, and I think [Urban Zen] fits very well with the L.A. lifestyle. There’s also a strong yoga element, and that’s how I personally live and dress.

Do you plan to spend much time here?
Yes, this is going to be my home away from home.

9045 Nemo St., West Hollywood, 310-247-1255.