By Rose Walano
Updated May 03, 2012 @ 3:05 pm
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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!