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A PICTURE OF HAITI’S BRIGHT FUTURE: Day Two

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 September 2011 11:40 Written by Donna Karan Friday, 29 July 2011 02:33

day 2 A PICTURE OF HAITI’S BRIGHT FUTURE: Day Two
An absolutely fantastic day! I’ve already shared with you my intense reaction to the housing expo that I experienced with former President Clinton, Haitian President Martelly and Wyclef Jean – such tangible proof of the potential of Haiti and the promise of a better tomorrow. If you haven’t yet read my thoughts on the expo, I invite you to read my earlier blog post HERE.

Haiti being the exciting country that it is, the housing expo was only one of the items on my agenda for the day. I also brought my team and a journalist to Bel-Air to see the work of the Horn Artisans – such a brilliant example of the kind of transformation that is possible for Haiti. Bel-Air is one of the roughest cities in Haiti, and yet, in its midst are exceedingly talented artists. It was so encouraging to come back and see the progress of the Horn Artisans, with the support of our friends at the Hand/Eye Fund they now have a roof over their heads and proper sanitation. The work we are doing with the Horn Artisans is remarkable and we continue to sell out of their jewelry.

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Rebuilding Haiti, One Home at a Time

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 September 2011 05:36 Written by Donna Karan Monday, 25 July 2011 06:54

Collage Rebuilding Haiti, One Home at a Time
I am here in Haiti – my sixth trip – and I can hardly express the power of what I just experienced.

I just left the official opening of the Building Back Better Communities Housing Expo, a project that included organizations like the Clinton Foundation, Harvard University and MIT. I had the profound pleasure of joining Wyclef Jean and guests of honor former President Bill Clinton and Haitian President Martelly.

There truly are no words to capture what it was like to experience the spirit of Haiti manifest itself through this building project. To see sixty-two model homes representing the potential of Haiti was a metaphor for the transcendent nature of this country. Naturally, the designer in me gravitated toward certain models – I loved the ones that captured the organic, rustic essence of Haiti. But, what was brilliant about every model home is that each one met strict building regulations making them equipped to stand the test of time, through earthquakes and hurricanes. Even as I write this the sky is clouding over and a storm is moving in… the Haitian people need to be protected from the elements.

I was so moved to see the young people of the surrounding community gather around the expo to cheer on the President and thank him for teaching them the skills they need to rebuild their homes and their country.

The whole experience served as poignant commentary on the state of Haiti. It fortified my own mission to Hope, Hope and Rebuild Haiti.

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Apple Awards Includes Stunning Performance

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 September 2011 05:39 Written by Urban Zen Friday, 10 June 2011 07:21

violin home Apple Awards Includes Stunning Performance
Last night the first ever Stephan Weiss Apple Awards was held at the Urban Zen Center. It was a gorgeous celebration of our founder, Donna Karan’s, late husband, Stephan Weiss, who passed away ten years ago after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

There are so many beautiful moments that we want to share with you, but for now, we’d like to share a note from Josue Sejour, the Founder & CEO of The Sejour Group & SDR. The Sejour Group is a full service management company for stars, celebrities and iconic brands around the world and they manage one blazingly bright star who perfomed during the event: Miri Ben-Ari. Josue sent out a beautiful note that captured Miri’s talents.

We are delighted to share this note with you here:

Dear Friends,

Last night, Miri Ben-Ari joined Wyclef Jean on stage for a dazzling performance to honor President Bill Clinton at the First Annual Urban Zen Stephen Weiss Apple Awards for Donna Karan. The Urban Zen Foundation is guided by three initiatives: Well-being, empowerment of children through education, and the preservation of culture, and curator of one program that speaks to me directly – Hope Help and Rebuild Haiti.

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