Donna Karan originally wanted to be a singer.

The 67-year-old designer may have founded her own fashion and beauty empire but she has admitted she never planned to go into that business as she had hoped she'd land a career in performing after falling in love with dance.

Speaking on 'Fresh Air,' she said: ''I didn't want to be a designer. The last thing I wanted to do was work on Seventh Avenue. I wanted to be a singer like Barbara Streisand and a dancer like Martha Graham. I loved the body. I loved the movement of the body. But I was neither of them.''

She added: ''However, what I decided that I thought I would like to do is be an illustrator. I love drawing. I love drawing bodies. I love drawing fashion, but I wasn't thinking of myself as a designer in those days. And then I went for a job at Women's Wear Daily and they said, you know, I think maybe you should look into design instead of illustration (laughter). I saw that I could not sing like Barbara and I couldn't dance like Martha so I was sort of put into the fashion industry.''

The brunette beauty kicked off her career in fashion after working with Anne Klein and soon became a chief designer within the company after the fashionista passed away.

However, Donna has admitted she regrets working so much as it meant she wasn't able to be a stay-at-home mother to her children Gabby, Corey and Lisa, like she had hoped.

Meanwhile, the fashion icon retired as chief designer from Donna Karen International, which she founded in 1985, earlier this year but will continue to overlook the business.

She will now pour her focus into her Urban Zen Company which, according to the website, offers a ''unique collection of luxurious women and men's apparel, one-of-a-kind jewellery, handcrafted leather pieces, artisan furniture and home decor, as well as other soulful objects of desire.''