Last season Donna Karan, who used to be known as “the queen of 7th Avenue”, celebrated her brand’s 30th anniversarry.

FASHION&TRAVEL You celebrated the 30th year of your brand last year. How did that feel?
DONNA KARAN Amazing in so many ways. Starting with how could it be 30 years? It feels like it was yesterday. It’s been a remarkable journey.

F&T If you started all over again, would you do everything the same way?
DK Absolutely. Every step we took brought us to where we are today. And the clothes have withstood the test of time. I look at my original Seven Easy Pieces and feel they are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.

F&T What would you be if you didn’t become a fashion designer?
DK As a kid I wanted to dance like Martha Graham or sing like Barbra Streisand. Or be a stay-at-home mother. I also wanted to be a fashion illustrator because I loved art in high school. But destiny brought me to where I was meant to be.

F&T You are a very strong woman and a pioneer. You became head designer after Anne Klein passed away and you had just given birth… A few years later you started your own brand designing modern clothes for modern women.. These are very brave mo-ves. Do you consider yourself brave? What scares you the most?
DK I’m writing my autobiography, and I realize that so many things just felt destined. I was too busy doing to think about whether it was brave or not. Anne died and a collection was due, so I designed it. Later, I wanted to create a small collection for me and my friends and the only way I could do that was to open my own business. I had no idea it was going to become what it has. I only know how to move forward, to create, to solve problems. It would only scare me if I thought about it too much.

F&T Can you tell us the story behind the name of your brand Don- na Karan New York? Why did you choose to use New York with your own name?
DK I had been designing under the Anne Klein name for ten years. When I started my own company, my name didn’t feel like it had eno- ugh weight to carry a company. It was too personal to me. But then I saw a shoebox that said Maud Fri- zon Paris, and I thought wait, how about Donna Karan New York? It felt right because New York was so much bigger than me…New York is the world.

F&T You say that you design clot- hes you and your friends would wear. How about DKNY? Is this brand for your daughter and her friends maybe?..
DK DKNY was founded for two reasons: I wanted to dress my teenage daughter and I personally needed a pair of jeans – and a wardrobe to go with them. Every woman of every age has two sides – the side that goes to work and out at night, and the side that takes it easy on the weekends. Caviar and pizza – you need and love them both equally. DKNY was never about an age as much as a lifestyle.

F&T Do you have a special interest in art? Do you collect art?
DK My husband Stephan was a sculptor/artist, so I’ve always had a strong connection to the art world. We speak the same langua- ge. Throughout my career, I’ve collaborated with numerous artists, from Robert Lee Morris who created the many jewelry collections we showed with our clothes to Haitian artists I’ve come to love and support.

F&T It seems like you are influenced by art in your summer collection… Can you tell us about this?
DK For Spring/Summer, we were inspired by New York graffiti art. I’m so used to traveling the world, Asia, Ha- iti, Bali, Africa, that it was nice to be home and look around me at the art found on our own streets. Our original prints, handpainting and embro- ideries all the spontaneity and color of the street.

F&T Your daughter Gaby worked with you but she now owns some Italian restaurants with her husband. (She has a brand new one in Manhattan.) How active is she in the business?
DK Gabby worked at Donna Karan International for several years when she first graduated college. She traveled for inspiration and also worked on displays for our stores. But, like most people, she wanted to pave her own creative path. She loves interior design, but then met her husband Gianpaolo De- Felice and the Italian restaurant business evolved with friends. She designs every part of the restaurants, from the interior spaces to all the furnishings, tablewear and service pieces.

F&T Are any of your grandchildren interested in designing?
DK Not yet, but two are still children, so we’ll see where that goes. All of the grandchildren – mine and Stephan’s – are creative on some level or another – it’s in the genes!

F&T I know that you enjoy travelling. What are your favorite des- tinations?
DK Bali is my favorite place in the world. Then Africa and Asia. But my favorite place of all is the place I haven’t been yet. I love the moment of discovery. I have a long list of trips I’ve yet to take.

F&T Where are you planning to visit in 2015?
DK China is on my immediate list, as is South America. It’s crazy I haven’t been to either yet.

F&T You were in Turkey before. What were your impressions?
DK I love, love, love Turkey. Especially Istanbul, which I find magical and inspiring. I also love the various port communities, which I’ve visited by boat more than once.

F&T What did you think about the Turkish women and their fashion sense?
DK I find women all over the world have the same fashion sense. Thanks to the internet, we’re much more similar than we are dif- ferent.

F&T Will we be seeing any changes or anything new at Donna Karan New York?
DK Stay tuned. We’re always evolving forward. It’s the only way to be.

F&T You love to workout, meditate and do sports like skiing. Can you tell us about your workout regimen and how it has helped you in life?
DK I’ve always been a jock, ever since I was a kid. I love just about any outdoor sport – horseback riding, skiing, paragliding, white water rafting, tennis, you name it. I love pilates because it’s such a core-strengthener. My absolute love, however, is yoga, because it gives me calm in the chaos of my life. It’s the one place I don’t think about anything other than being on that mat – and to shut my brain off like that is the ultimate treat of all.

F&T Can you tell us about your Spring/Summer 2015 collections?
DK DKNY is about a uniform of New York dressing, but with fresh twists and proportions. Modern classics, men’s tailoring, shocks of color and textural play with touches of jewel embellishments. Collection is strong and seductive, very day into night with sculpted belted jackets, artisan coats, pleated trousers, tailored skirts and origami flourishes throughout. Together, the collections are the two sides of a coin: one street- inspired, the other skyline-at-night inspired.

Leyla Melek