Donna Karan.

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view of boston from the Hynes convention center

After Sarah Robb O’Hagan’s morning keynote, I attended three workshops then lunch was served. At the table I met another group of fellow students/young professionals but I was really looking forward to what was to follow.

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lunch time!

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Intercollegiate Business Convention was because Donna Karan was announced as a keynote speaker.

Donna Karan. 3

As a student in the fashion industry studying in New York, pursuing a degree in international business and having a fashion design background myself, I thought hearing Donna Karan speak would be inspiring if not educational. I was right but Donna Karan surprised me with her deeply profound- almost spiritual- words of wisdom. Rather than discussing just design and her business she spoke about her journey and topics beyond the realm of business.

Some of the girls next to me were a bit surprised, even disappointed that she spoke so much about philanthropy and the lessons her business taught her. I found it refreshing and thought provoking. A lot of what she said resonated with me and I could relate to a lot of what she experienced in her fashion career.

Highlights in the form of quotes (because I am a quote junkie)

 “I don’t really control anything really. It just happens to me”

“You wouldn’t believe how many ways you could do the color Black”

“I dress people all day but unless I address topics in the world today I am not a designer”

“It is never about me it is always about we”

“You can look at all the pluses or you can look at all the minuses.”

“Connection makes the voice louder, outcome greater”

“To dress you in the inside is as important as dressing our outside”

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great juxtaposition of Business and Fashion

After 2 more workshops and a closing reception, I headed out to another event. Needless to say, it was a long day and the convention speakers, especially the keynotes, gave me a lot to think about. I had the rest of the day to enjoy what Boston had to offer, but like Donna Karan said, “Darling, New York is the world” – I just couldn’t wait to get back. The feelings were mutual, as this is how NY greeted me when I returned Sunday.

I’m excited to share with you some of the people I met and some of the other things I learned!

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