Donna Karan made a surprise appearance on Monday night as the seventh recipient of the 2012 Clinton Global Citizen Award, an honor she shared with the Right Reverend Christopher Senyonjo and Pepe Julian Onziema of Uganda; Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helú; Denis O’Brien, chairman and founder of the Digicel Group; Luis A. Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank; and Katie Stagliano, founder and chief executive gardener of Katie’s Krops. The fashion designer took to the podium at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City to speak about her earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti with former president Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative. She also delved into her work at Urban Zen, the label-cum-philanthropic-foundation she founded in 2007.
Clinton also named this year’s Clinton Global Citizen Award, designed by Karan with Haitian artisan Karine “Cookie” Villard and Nadja Swarovski of Swarovski, as the “the official award of the Clinton Global Initiative.” He then invited Karan back on stage to present an unscheduled seventh award for her work in Haiti.
Karan, who designed this year’s Clinton Global Citizen Award, was surprised with an unscheduled seventh award for her work in Haiti.
“Every other year that we’ve given these awards we always have a different designer,” he said. “But, we’re intending for this award to be around as long as we’re giving out awards. So I think we should give an award to Donna Karan. I believe that it is overwhelmingly because of her that the arts and crafts center of the Haitian economy may be the first sector that is actually doing better today than it was before the earthquake and I will never be able to thank her.”