Donna Karan on Her Favorite Ad Campaign Ever and Future

by Eddie Roche

Earlier this week, the board of directors of the Women’s Committee of Central Park Conservancy hosted its annual Fall Luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental. The event has previously invited the likes of ultimate New Yorkers such as John McEnroe and Isaac Mizrahi as special guests, and this year another quintessential local gal, Donna Karan, was the woman of the hour. DK sat down for a Q&A with Allure’s Linda Wells to discuss her recent memoir, My Journey, her career at Donna Karan New York, and her love of Central Park (with the exception of the 2000 death of daughter Gaby’s dog, who was killed by a swan in the park, which she briefly mentioned).

Karan proved to be ahead of her time when Wells inquired about her favorite ad campaign from over the years. “Rosemary running for President,” she said. “How early was I?” Any controversy at the time? “Oh, god yes. A woman running for president? Like, ‘Why?'” she recalled. “But everybody loved the campaign! Everybody thought I was Rosemary,” she said about the 1992 “In Women We Trust” campaign starring model Rosemary McGrotha.   

For the 5th consecutive year the lunch was supported by Van Cleef & Arpels and brought in $200K for the Central Park Conservancy. Karen T. May, president of the Women’s Committee, was joined by co-chairmen Nell Kleinschmidt, Kristy Korngold, and Sharon Teles. Additional attendees of note included Gillian Miniter, Suzie Aijala, Allison Aston, Noreen Buckfire, Lise Evans, Fe Fendi, Susan Gutfreund, Mai Hallingby-Harrison, Paige Hardy, Anne Harrison, Tracey Huff, Sharon Jacob, Karen LeFrak, Gillian Miniter, Marcia Mishaan, Neda NavabMary Kathryn Navab, Margo Nederlander, Jenny Paulson, Jenny Price, Kara Ross, Barbara Cirkva Schumacher, and Martha Stewart.

As for Karan’s future: “I have so many things I want to do,” she told Wells. “My list is really long. We don’t have enough hours to talk about it!”


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