Dana Buchman is a name recognized around the world. With sales of more than $150 million a year, her clothing line is one of fashion's biggest success stories. By age 35, Dana, a self-professed perfectionist, had her own label, a husband and a baby girl named Charlotte. "I had it all," she says. "That's exactly what I wanted."
Shortly after Charlotte's birth, Dana realized that her daughter was developing more slowly than other children. After a series of doctors' appointments, Charlotte was diagnosed with neurological, spatial and motor skill disabilities.
When Dana heard the diagnosis, she says her heart sank and she burst into tears. "I had no idea what learning disabilities were," she says. "I just knew it meant Charlotte was different and that was a red flag to me that things weren't going to be easy, perfect like I had imagined."
Dana threw herself into her clothing empire. For years, she kept her shame and embarrassment about her daughter being different hidden from the world. "I thought I always had to look good and be in control," she says. "In fashion, of course, that's what we do. We look good."
After years of pretending everything was perfect, Dana's facade finally cracked and she had a terrifying panic attack. "What it was, was my body finally, after 47 years, saying, 'You can't keep living like this,'" she says.