DONNA’S SPRING BREAK: Donna Karan and Saks Fifth Avenue got into the spring break spirit on Thursday. To fete her new shop-in-shop at Saks’ Bal Harbour store in Florida, they threw a pool party at SLS Hotel with a fashion show for her spring collection, after which the crowd spilled into Hyde Beach lounge. With smartphones waving like mad for Karan’s photo, their adoration for the designer was palpable.

“We invited 250 guests, received 450 RSVP’s so we had to move venues last minute, and 575 people came,” said Marigay McKee, Saks’ president, who partnered with Karan for the first runway presentation in her new role. Since the event benefited Women of Tomorrow’s Mentor and Scholarship Program, McKee also thought no one was better than Karan to check off female empowerment, fashion and philanthropy in one fell swoop. The charity angle was mutual for Karan, who already donates a lot of time to helping Haiti.

This story first appeared in the March 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Anything I do, I want to make a difference in world consciousness and really connect with my consumer,” she said, relating to the city’s multicultural heritage and laid-back lifestyle, too. “Miami’s a good match for the collection’s India theme and my Urban Zen Foundation.”

With a holiday home in Turks and Caicos and annual visits to Art Basel, Karan is no stranger to Miami. Already a fan of the Wynwood arts district’s graffiti-covered walls, she planned to scout the Miami Design District the next day for her first freestanding store in Florida.