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This iconic American designer has put her brand on everything from women's and men's fashion to fragrances and home furnishings, but these days Donna Karan is also working for a cause. Karan is founder of the Urban Zen Foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates, connects, and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well being, preserving cultures, and empowering children. The foundation is supported in part by the Urban Zen store, where Karan sells her Urban Zen clothing and furniture in addition to artifacts she's collected while on the road. CL spoke with the fashionable globe-trotter to find out how traveling the world has inspired her. - William Kissel

A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Travel is my passion. When I travel I meet, interact with, and learn from the artisans. I am inspired by their work — from the teakwood tables from Bali to the handcrafted fl atware from Africa. Pieces that are handmade have a heart and soul behind them. I love to support the artisans from around the world, and I fi ll the Urban Zen stores with their works.

ON PRESERVING CULTURES: The pieces that comprise the Urban Zen furniture collection are all oversized teakwood pieces handcrafted by artisans in Bali. One of the three initiatives of the Urban Zen Foundation is preserving cultures. When you buy a piece of furniture from the Urban Zen collection, you are joining in the collective consciousness and making a direct impact on the artisans’ lives.

ACTIVE WEAR: I live the Urban Zen lifestyle. Urban Zen clothes take you from yoga to going out, from morning to night. The collection does not follow the traditional fashion calendar; it is really seasonless and timeless. The concept is to buy now, wear now.

A NEW APPROACH: I have spent my career dressing people. Now through Urban Zen, I am able to address them. Ten percent of net sales from the store benefi ts the foundation. When you shop at Urban Zen, you aren’t just shopping for yourself, you are shopping for change. It is not about me; it’s about we.

INSPIRATION: I get inspiration from everything around me, especially nature, whether I am in New York, Bali, or anywhere in between.

FAVORITE DESTINATION: I love, love, love Bali. But when I can’t get there, I love going to my home in Parrot Cay — I call it my three-hour Bali. Parrot Cay is a place where my entire family can go and be together. It is our sanctuary.

I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT: My yoga mat. I start every day practicing yoga, no matter where I am.

WHAT’S NEXT: The growth of the Urban Zen Center: more classes, more connectivity, more collective consciousness.