Deepak Chopra and Donna Karan
For those who think fashion is for shallow-minded folks, think again. Deepak Chopra, physician and alternative medicine guru was on hand at ABC Carpet & Home last night to talk Design, Beauty & Commerce; Serving as a Tool for Social Evolution.” If that was a lofty vision, then equally zen Donna Karan was there to back Chopra up on the mic.
Hosted by T Magazine, the event attracted quite the globally curious and recognizable crowd. Lucy Liu and Hugh Jackman stopped by to hang out and listen in. Chopra explained, “Design, beauty and commerce have been activities of humanity forever, since we have been civilized people, but now it takes on a new meaning.”
Chopra pointed to the global impact every individual occurrence has, from the volcano eruption in Iceland affecting flights everywhere, to the international effects of the economic crisis in Greece. Among cool (Beetlejuice-inspired?) seating creations designed and handmade by Sudanese artisans out of fishing wire, the speaker summed up the idea of the evening’s discussion, ” The new commerce has to recognize the artist, the artist is the commerce.”
“Here we have this African art in a contemporary setting, we recognize the creativity, play, inspiration and the interdependence that is emerging and we cannot tolerate a world where 50% of people live in abominable conditions,” Chopra added.
Nearby the installation sits Donna Karan’s own Urban Zen collection, with a sign that reads, “raise awareness, inspire change.” Karan herself spoke of her own inspirations, namely “mind, body, and spirit, and East meets West.” Proceeds from the sale of the collection benefit the Urban Zen Foundation, established by Karan and Chopra four years ago. Seems the night’s message is one they’ve had in mind for a while.
Urban Zen collection
All images: Clint Spaulding / Patrick McMullan