We were surprised, at first, to see Wyclef Jean sitting in the front row at Donna Karan‘s spring 2012 show yesterday. But once we read the line sheets and saw the collection the connection was clear: Haiti. Karan’s collection was heavily influenced by travels to Haiti throughout the past year, and the Haitian musician is known for his charity work in his home country through his foundation, Yéle Haiti. What’s surprising though, is that Karan and Wyclef go way back.
We talked to Wyclef after the show to get his take on the collection, what he thought of the Haitian inspiration, and just how he and Karan got together.
Fashionista: So what brings you to Donna Karan’s show today? Did you work with her in anyway on this collection–besides performing at her after-party?
Wyclef Jean: I worked hand in hand with Donna and what I love about her is that I want people to know there’s a sexy side about Haiti–so when Donna comes and works with the artisans and starts bringing the jewelry back it’s incredible and this is just the start of it.
How did you and Donna Karan meet and pair up?
We’ve always been connected. I used to work for Donna Karan when I was a kid. I worked at one of her factories in Newark. I used to work for her as a security guard and I feel asleep on a post and someone stole Donna Karan clothes. That’s all true. So I said if I ever make it as a rock star I’m writing Donna Karan a check. So when I saw her I brought her a check.
How much was it for?
Twenty! [Ed. Note: unclear here whether that's $20 or $20K...]
What did you think of the collection?
The line looks like an epiphany doesn’t it? Like you went somewhere and you saw something and you decided to act. From generation to generation Donna is always innovative–she makes clothes that mothers and daughters can both wear. And it’s exciting again. It’s daring, it’s sexy, it’s fun.