Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Hosts An African Bazaar

Sag Harbor’s Urban Zen, a foundation and personal passion of Donna Karan’s, was transformed into a vibrant African marketplace on a hot summer Saturday evening of May 28.

Some of the handmade treasures found at this exciting summertime bazaar included wooden bowls, beaded bracelets and collar necklaces, embroidered artisanal pillows, woven bags and indigo colored sarongs. Guests such as Donna Karan herself, as well as Carolyn Roumeguere, Kenny Mann, Celia Roach, Patti and Harvey Cohen, Dan Bailey, Lauren Chu, and many others, enjoyed browsing the curated gems for the good cause of raising awareness to the African-made accessories and household items.

To add to the shopping experience, guests of the bazaar were also invited to embark on a soulful journey as they enjoyed the tribal music playing in the backyard to the buzzing sounds of early summer birds and insects emanating from the lush green plants in the garden. And while some foraged for light refreshments and snacks, most enjoyed swaying away to the setting blood orange colored Sag Harbor sun.

One of the exciting treasures presented at the market was Urban Zen’s collaboration with the artisan communities in Mali, the indigo textiles. Indigo was the foundation of centuries-old textiles traditions throughout West Africa and now thanks to Caroline Roumeguerre, a glamorous nomad who brings the elegance of Maasai warriors to the East End, the spirit of creativity, adventure and global travelling lives on at Urban Zen.

Donna Karan started The Urban Zen Foundation to create awareness and to inspire change by preserving culture, empowering children, and improving health and well being, by including integrative medicine and promoting patient advocacy. Inspired by the darkest moment in her own life, when her husband got terminally ill with lung cancer, Karan works with Urban Zen by merging philanthropy and commerce and bringing an oasis of peace and doing good to the chaotic luxury retail world.

Urban Zen Integrated Therapy was born out of spending many days in a hospital with her sick spouse, Stephen Weiss, and while everyone was caring for his disease, it appeared to Karan that nobody was charged with caring for the person himself. She then developed this program to bring alternative healing techniques such as aromatherapy and yoga into traditional health care.

To learn more about Donna Karan’s The Urban Zen Foundation and store, visit

Photos by David X Prutting/


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