Fashion icon and humanitarian Donna Karan founded Urban Zen in 2007.


A world traveler, a lifelong yogi, as well as a mother and grandmother, Karan considers Urban Zen the realization of her dream not just to dress people, but to address them as well.

The foundation is dedicated to three initiatives: preservation of culture (past), bringing mind, body and spirit to healthcare (present) and education (future).

The groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program integrates eastern healing modalities with western science, with over 800 certified therapists of varying levels working throughout the country.


After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, Karan became passionately involved with the Clinton Global Initiative to develop and support sustainable artisan opportunities in Haiti, culminating in 2015, when Karan collaborated with her alma mater, Parsons School of Design, to open the Haitian vocational education center called D.O.T (Design Organization Training).

Urban Zen is, in part, supported by the Urban Zen brand and stores, a harmony of philanthropy and commerce, an idea Karan cultivated through her leadership on Seventh on Sale, the CFDA AIDS benefit, Kids for Kids carnival for Pediatric AIDS, and Super Saturday, an annual Hamptons tag sale Karan founded with Liz Tilberis to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

“Urban Zen embodies not just my philanthropic passions, but also my passion for design – dressing and addressing people both on the inside and the outside.”