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Conversations with Norma Kamali

Thursday, I joined fashion designer Norma Kamali for the kicked off of her wellness series, “Conversations: A Dialogue on Wellness Solutions” at the Museum of Modern Art. “The planet we live on is not like it was at any other time. In order to survive fast food farming technology and the toxic environment, we must face our problems head on with practical solutions,” said Kamali. Change doesn’t happen over night but by educating her piers and spreading awareness we can all work together for a solution. So in front of a live audience, she showed a movie featuring two-minute conversations with notable experts in fitness, health, beauty and nutrition. Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session.

Honored guests included choreographer, Twyla Tharp, founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients skin care, Horst Rechelbacher, spiritual counselor and author of “Shadows On the Path”, Abdi Assadi, filmmaker of “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”, Joe Cross, vegan and raw food chef, Chef Matteo, and more (Nancy Shaw, Magen Banwart, Dr. David Colbert and Physique 57).

I thought over all the speeches we’re good. The highlight for me was Twyla Tharp telling the audience the most important thing is “to just move, our bodies just want to move”. Anyone who’s ever been through a rough patch knows how easy it is to emotionally give up and just not want to get out of bed. Ultimately, the only cure for that and to turn your life around in any capacity is to move.  Sometimes, it’s the simple things that we need reminding of. I could stand to start moving a little earlier in the morning.

I’ve also thought a lot about Abdi Assadi saying “everybody has a piece of the puzzle… no one person has the answer”, which is so true. I remember reading an article about actor Adrian Grenier, saying something along the lines of his biggest fear is all of his environmental initiatives have made no impact on the planet. For some reason that really stuck with me.  Can you imagine if

The Wellness Cafe at Norma Kamali

I received an invitation from Norma Kamali to visit her new Wellness Café.  Located at the Norma Kamali flagship store on 56th Street, I was no stranger to the café considering I used to work around the corner.  Tucked in the back of her store, it was an olive oil haven.  Filled with all types of pastries and snacks (all olive oil based); I was a sucker for the lavender shortbread.

I had heard during New York Fashion Week Norma made some adjustments to her life and was adding more raw and vegan elements into her diet. The café is an extension of Kamaili had thus evolved with her.  I was excited to see the changes to the café, and even though I knew the olive oil base would always prevail, I had a feeling this would be the demise of my beloved shortbread.

As some of you know I’ve been on an oil kick for sometime now, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, argon oil, coconut oil, essential oils . . . you get the point.  What began as something I only used on my body has now fully been integrated onto my face and hair as part of my regiment.  I’ve also been on a recent health kick (or at least trying to be), the downfall of months of traveling and abiding by the ‘there’s no calories on vacation’ rule.  And to that all I can say is it’s all fun and games until bathing suit season.  So perfect timing for this invitation, I would be in good company, and I can use all the inspiration I can get!

So through the entrance, past the mannequins to the back of the store I go.  Aesthetically it’s still very much the original café, however