By Rose Walano
May 03, 2012 @ 3:05 pm
PatrickMcMullan; ImaxTree (2)

Donna Karan is famous for her body-conscious draping (case in point: her fall 2012 collection, seen here), so when we caught up with the designer at a benefit for her alma mater, Parsons The New School of Design, we were shocked to learn that she wasn't always such a fabric pro. "I failed draping," Karan told us. "It's my metaphor: Donna Karan failed draping!" The designer also shared some tips for any aspiring fashion star: "Work in retail. It's the only way you really get to understand what you're doing and what your job is." Good advice!

See our top picks from Karan's fall collection!

MORE:Your Favorite Designers A-ZAshley Greene's Donna Karan Dress• Designers’ Ultimate Fashion Advice