Donna Karan is a problem solver—always has been and always will be. The Seven Easy Pieces concept, which kicked off Karan’s solo career, for example, answered a straightforward question: “What should my friends and I wear?” As she turns 70, Karan is asking the same question. (At Urban Zen, the response is stretchy knits and layers, which gives women of all shapes and sizes options and agency.)

In the latest installment of Sally Singer’s Vogue Voices series, Karan, who “grew up on Seventh Avenue” and admits she always wanted to be an artist, talks us through her stellar career. She takes us from the art to the delivery room and from Anne Klein to Donna Karan New York and DKNY. Along the way, she offers us glimpses into her private life, too, speaking candidly of her working mother’s guilt, her philanthropy, and, movingly, her late husband Stephan Weiss. “He was,” she says, “my partner in crime; he was brilliant.”

Her m.o. isn’t too shabby, either: Believing that “women are the changemakers,” Karan aims not only to dress a customer but to address her. “The fashion today,” the designer states, “is to be aware.”

[Click here to watch the full interview with Donna Karan on Vogue]

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