The Thrive Questionnaire with Donna Karan

The fashion designer and creator of Urban Zen talks favorite snacks, her personal motto, and how she keeps going in the age of outrage.

Image Courtesy of Donna Karan

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Donna Karan: I meet with my amazing Pilates and yoga instructor, Kira. I find this to be a great way to kick-start my day and connect with my mind, body, and spirit.

TG: What gives you energy?
DK: My morning green juice. It’s truly the perfect way to start my day post workout.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
DK: My vitamin shots to pick me up when I’m exhausted.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
DK: Writing my autobiography, My Journey, allowed me to remember and appreciate everything that made me who I am today.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
DK: I’m always texting. If you want to get to me, text me. Whenever I’m not texting, Sudoku and Instagram are my go-tos.

TG: How do you deal with email?
DK: I’m better with texts.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
DK: I indulge in a So Delicious bar or some Coconut Bliss ice cream!

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
DK: Now! Gun Violence, our President, a broken pinky, traveling, and work – they all add up. But good thing I have my family, Urban Zen, and more to keep me going.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
DK: My motto is if there’s a problem, there’s a solution. Right now, there are so many problems and, for the first time, it’s hard to pick which fire to put out first.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
DK: The C Words, the connecting the dots: create, collaborate, connect, communicate, change, community, cashmere, cotton, candles, café.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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