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Posted at 04:34 PM ET, 06/14/2012

Celebvocate: Donna Karan for Haitian artists


Donna Karan, Bill Clinton and Inter-American Development Bank president Luis Moreno at Wednesday's opening of the "Discover Haiti" Exhibition. (Courtesy of IDB)

An occasional look at the big names who grace our nation’s capital in support of a cause. Wednesday’s crusader: Donna Karan.

Venue: The opening of the “Discover Haiti” exhibit the at Inter-American Development Bank headquarters.

Cause: Helping Haitian artisans get a foothold in the global marketplace.

Bona fides: Award-winning fashion designer; traveled to Haiti every month since the 2010 earthquake to help local artists design, produce and market wares.

Wingmen: Bill Clinton, Sean Penn, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, bank president Luis Moreno.


Sean Penn at the Inter American Development Bank headquarters on Wednesday. (Courtesy of IDB)
What she wants: Microfinance loans for the artists; exposure for their work (the exhibit is open until June 27). All proceeds from sales of Haitian accessories, clothing and home decor through her Urban Zen Foundation go back to the country, she said.

How she looked: Upscale rustic chic in a black dress with a Haitian bone necklace, bracelets and a papier-mache tote, which she now wears everywhere.

Sound bite: “Every single person is an artist,” Karan told us. “It’s taking their artistry and developing it to a whole new new level.”

Whom we passed up for her: Mandy Moore promoting international development (read earlier: Celebvocate: Barbara Bush and Mandy Moore for foreign aid, 10/3/11); Ben Affleck battling child mortality in Africa (read earlier: Celebvocate: Ben Affleck on war-torn Congo, 12/1/10).



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By  |  04:34 PM ET, 06/14/2012

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