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Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Names Helen Aboah As Chief Executive Officer

January 7, 2020 GMT
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NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Urban Zen today announced the appointment of Helen Aboah as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. A seasoned executive within the fashion industry, Aboah previously held the role of Executive Vice President at Alexander Wang and executive at LVMH/Donna Karen Intl.

Helen brings decades of experience to the organization with a proven track record of outstanding growth at multi-faceted luxury brands by balancing strategic and operational excellence. Her vast industry knowledge, focus on brand positioning, merchandising and product driven strategies combined with Karan’s creative vision for the future of Urban Zen, create a unique platform that will not only dress women, but address them.

Aboah will oversee the groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program that integrates Eastern healing modalities with Western science. Today, the UZIT network is made up of over 900 certified therapists of varying levels working across the country.

The shared mission of Karan and Aboah is to build and expand upon the founding three pillars of Urban Zen: preservation of culture (past), healthcare (present) and education (future). Aboah’s appointment is a clear reflection of the global growth plans for Urban Zen; filling a role that has been vacant for 2 years.

“It’s exciting to be joining forces with Donna Karan to lead Urban Zen through the next phase of growth. Donna is not only an icon but a visionary that has always been ahead of her time with concepts that have changed the way consumers dress, shop, and live: from her original seven easy pieces, buy-now-wear-now, wellness and yoga and now conscious consumerism. Through Urban Zen we have the opportunity to connect the dots between Donna’s timeless aesthetic, artisan craftsmanship, and philanthropic efforts.”

– Helen Aboah, CEO, Urban Zen

“I’m so excited to have Helen Aboah join Urban Zen, as a woman for women, understanding women today. Her expertise in building brands and leading teams while also being a wife, mother, friend, and visionary is what makes her an incomparable leader.”

Urban Zen is a philosophy of living, a platform to create, connect, collaborate, communicate and change while dressing and addressing people in preservation of culture, healthcare, and education. Helen and I share this vision. Her experience leading creative organizations will drive my dream of commerce and philanthropy to a global level.

I’m so looking forward to continuing this journey with Helen.”

– Donna Karan, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Urban Zen

ABOUT URBAN ZEN: Urban Zen is a luxury lifestyle brand based on the philosophy of its founder, Donna Karan. Inspired by the cultures of the world, Urban Zen is a destination offering ready-to-wear, accessories, furniture and home décor and soulful global artisan treasures. Available in-season. The brand supports the Urban Zen Foundation, dedicated to preservation of culture, integrative healthcare and education. Urban Zen has three stand-alone stores located in New York City, Sag Harbor, LA as well as www.UrbanZen.com.

ABOUT URBAN ZEN FOUNDATION: The Urban Zen Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring change in the areas well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children in mind, body, and spirit. Founded by Donna Karan in 2007, UZF believes that creating, connecting, communicating and collaborating is the key to change. To achieve our mission, we partner with like-minded organizations and leaders to offer forum and events so that together, we can truly affect change.

ABOUT DONNA KARAN: Fashion icon and philanthropist Donna Karan believes through creativity, collaboration, connection and community one can change the world. This conviction lies at the heart of Urban Zen. The foundation is dedicated to three initiatives: preservation of culture (past), and bringing mind, body and spirit to healthcare (present) and education (future.) The Urban Zen Center in New York is the Foundation’s home, a place and space where like-minded individuals come together for forums, educational lectures and fundraisers. In 2010, Urban Zen launched Hope, Help & Relief Haiti in collaboration with leaders in music, fashion, film, finance and art. Karan works with The Clinton Global Initiative to develop and support sustainable opportunities in Haiti by bringing artisan products to a global market. To further advance that goal, in 2015, Karan collaborated with her alma mater, Parsons School of Design, to open the Haitian vocational education center called D.O.T. (Design Organization Training).

Urban Zen Foundation is, in part, supported by the Urban Zen brand and stores, a harmony of philanthropy and commerce, an idea Karan cultivated through her leadership on Seventh on Sale, CFDA AIDS benefit, Kids for Kids carnival for Pediatric AIDS, and Super Saturday, an annual Hamptons tag sale, Karan founded with Liz Tilberis to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Karan’s fashion fame is legendary. Mentored by Anne Klein, whose line Karan designed for ten years after Klein’s death in 1974. In 1985, Karan founded Donna Karan New York with her late husband Stephan Weiss, where she revolutionized the way women dressed with her Seven Easy Pieces: an interchangeable wardrobe that took women day into night with ease and sophistication. Four years later came DKNY, the street chic sportswear line that has become synonymous with New York City the world over.

A world traveler, lifelong yogi, mother and grandmother, Karan considers Urban Zen an extension of her desire to find the missing link in the areas she cares most about. It is the realization of Karan’s dream not just to dress people, but to address them. Karan candidly shares her personal and professional story in her autobiography, My Journey (Ballantine/Random House.)

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Kate Bartle

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SOURCE Urban Zen