Dream luxuriously. Shop locally. Give back globally.
That was the message last week from designer Donna Karan, above, as she guided a handful of press previewers slash erstwhile shoppers through her seasonal Urban Zen Holiday Marketplace on Greenwich Street, open now through New Year’s Eve (10-6; Thursday 10-7; Saturday 11-6; Sunday 12-5). This unique gifting venue promotes shopping in a “soulful economy,” offering a world of exotic fabulousness, where buying artisanally-made gifts from “like-minded people and organizations” means you can make a difference under your tree or menorah as well as across the world. You’re not only giving to the giftee, you’re helping charitable endeavors, as a portion of each vendor’s proceeds goes towards their favorite philanthropic cause. Urban Zen itself is under the umbrella of the Urban Zen Foundation, a charity that, according to Karan’s organization, is “dedicated to promoting well-being, empowering children and preserving cultures.”
Donna is nothing if not dedicated to preserving cultures. The space could be a museum of pottery, blankets, rugs, jewelry and textiles. Oh, and the textiles! Indigo playfully exhibited alongside handmade pottery tableware, Guatemalan huipils and Peruvian ponchos hanging next to supple suede jackets and and featherweight cashmere scarves that begged to be stroked. Partners in the space include jewelry artists Ana Srdic, Jessica Mindich of Jewelry for the Cause and Jason Ross of Artemis Quibble. On hand were recycled basket bags, necklaces made from reclaimed cereal boxes, river stone Hearts for Haiti, vintage from Melet Mercantile, Nomad Two Worlds, and books from around the world of same subject.