I recently photographed a portrait of celebrity fashion designer Donna Karan at home for the Financial Times. See the story here.

From the story by Helen Chislett:

“The fashion designer on how her late husband inspired her to ‘connect the dots’

When you walk into Donna Karan’s New York apartment, the first thing to greet you is the heady smell of essential oils. It is the first indication of the importance of meditation and spirituality in her life. Further evidence is provided by artworks depicting the 72 names for God, photos of the Dalai Lama (one of her acquaintances) and shelves of books on Kabbalah. Karan may be renowned as a fashion designer with a multi billion-dollar company, but she is also a yogi who first became interested in the benefits of alternative therapies when she was 18. “I have chosen a spiritual path,” she says, “because without that, life makes no sense to me.”

Karan describes her 7,000 sq ft apartment as “a one-bedroom bachelorette pad”. Situated on the 16th floor of a historic 20-storey block (Calvin Klein used to own the penthouse), the space was originally divided into three apartments that she gutted and transformed into a huge, loft-style space.

Rice paper walls and swing doors separate the sleeping, bathing and living areas, but in effect this is one elongated open-plan space with its entire frontage facing east over Central Park. Visitors barely have the chance to take in the white glazed walls, black lacquered woodwork, limestone floors and Balinese furniture, before Karan hustles them out to her terrace – a walkway that encircles the apartment. “If you want to see New York – here it is!” she says. Indeed it is a stunning view, not only of the Park itself, but of Harlem in one direction, downtown in the other and the Hudson river on the west side.”