Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Donna Karan
Beauty Nostalgia is a new weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Donna Karan, fashion designer and creator of Donna Karan New York and DKNY.
The Product: “My favorite beauty memory is creating my original signature scents with my husband Stephan. The journey was such a labor of love. Stephan had what the industry calls “a nose.” He really had the gift and loved the creative process of mixing juices and seeing how they reacted against skin. I wanted our first scent, Cashmere Mist, to be a combination of the things I loved: Casablanca lilies, suede, and the back of Stephan’s neck—which had everyone wanting to smell Stephan’s neck! A tall order, but many formulations later, the scent was exactly what I wanted. I can still see Stephan walking around with all the testers, applying it to the wrists of various women in the company. The bottles, of course, were strictly Stephan’s domain. He was a mixed-media sculptor and approached bottle design like a work of art—believe me, it wasn’t the norm to bring in a sculptor to design your bottles. The finished work, inspired by the curve of a woman’s back, is now iconic. Stephan passed in 2001. When it came to creating a bottle for our newest scent, Woman, I wanted to continue the artistic tradition. I went to Zaha Hadid, the international architect whose fluid and strong strokelike style I admire so much. The bottle is curvaceous and beautiful—very much reflective of a woman’s sensibility. You just want to caress and hold it in your hands, something Stephan demanded of his own designs. I’m sure Stephan would approve.”