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Donna Karan Honored at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards

Bill Clinton surprised the designer by bringing her back up on stage to honor her for her work in Haiti.

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DONNA’S AWARD: Donna Karan has another honor to add to her résumé. The designer took the podium Monday night at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards at the Sheraton Hotel in New York to speak about her relief efforts in Haiti with Bill Clinton and how, through Urban Zen, she uses philanthropy and commerce to create change.

Karan, who designed the Clinton Global Citizen Award, worked with Karine “Cookie” Villard, a Haitian artisan who is a key member of the Urban Zen Haiti Artisan Project, and Nadja Swarovski of Swarovski. Clinton named Karan’s award “the official award of the Clinton Global Initiative,” and then surprised Karan by bringing her back up on stage to honor her for her work in Haiti.

“Every other year that we’ve given these awards we always have a different designer. 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 enough,” said Clinton.

“Last night was extraordinary,” said Karan on Tuesday. “President Clinton inspires everything I do, from my work in Haiti to Urban Zen. I was [pleased] to design the Global Citizen Award, but I was completely shocked when President Clinton presented me with the award at the end of the evening. I am humbled and honored.”