DONNA SPEAKS: More than 400 Harvard Business School students, alumni and various undergrads turned up Sunday to hear what Donna Karan had to say about her career, philanthropic efforts and life at large. The designer was on the campus for the tenth annual Retail & Luxury Goods Conference. Presented by the Retail & Luxury Goods Club, a Student Club at Harvard Business School, this year’s edition was billed as “The Consumer Revolution: Redefining Retail & Luxury for the Next Decade.”
Interestingly, many of the attendees who stayed behind to speak with Karan after her presentation wanted to talk about her philanthropic pursuits. And the Urban Zen loving Karan was equally giving of her time, chatting with guests for 90 minutes afterwards.
“The students were interested in how to help others most effectively. I said it wasn’t just about helping another country, but about collaborating with them. To connect them with people who have experience and creativity in fields that appreciate artisan work and can take their craft and help put it in a modern context, as well as help with quality support,” Karan said Tuesday. “That’s why vocational education is so important – it’s the key to helping others to develop and build sustainable businesses. “
Other keynote speakers included outgoing Fifth & Pacific chief executive officer William McComb and Sephora’s chief marketing officer and chief digital officer Julie Bornstein.