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I had to understand what being a brand was before people were talking about what being a brand was. And I realized the brand was me. olive oil flowing,” she laughs. “When I opened my Wellness Café after 9⁄11, I decided to make olive oil one of the key product categories.” She also loves to keep the stress at bay by working out each day and making sure she gets enough sleep. “I love my bed! And I love the process of just getting into bed, feeling good in the space, and then having a great night’s sleep so that in the morning, I’m energized and ready to go.” She’ll need the rest—Kamali’s beauty, health, and fitness ventures promise to garner even more attention. This year, her new skin-care line, Invincible, launches with the same passionate thought and dedication she has afforded her award-winning designs. Besides a cleanser, serum, and night cream, what sets her line apart is the product Glow, an everyday moisturizer with a sunless tanner, and her Booster cream for a daily all-natural glow. With its signature all-white design (and the best advertising of all: Kamali’s age-defying self !), Invincible is certain to become routine for all card-carrying Norma Kamali fans. It’s hard to imagine when Kamali isn’t ready to bust a move. The layers she’s built of her life, both personal and professional, seem to enouncter no bounds; she certainly has never let a single one stop her. It left me with one challenge to present to Kamali at the end of our visit: Could she possibly describe herself in five words? She paused and looked down at her hands. She silently counted out four fingers on her right hand, looked up at me, and smiled. True to Kamali’s pursuit of simplicity, she didn’t even need five: “I. Am. Norma. Kamali.”


K a m a li

I realized that there’s something smarter about [how] you eat and working out in an appropriate way.” She began keeping in her cupboard only healthy foods that make her feel good. That way, nothing would be off-limits because nothing would be harmful to her well-being. “When I eat bad food, I feel sick,” she says with a simple shrug. I wondered at what point in her life she realized she had to adopt a healthy lifestyle. “Probably around 1980,” she answers. “Before that I was dancing every night with very little sleep— that was my exercise.” Being a very physical person and always on the move, Kamali began exercising to Jane Fonda tapes and doing Pilates long before it became mainstream. “I also never drank, never did drugs—intuitively, my survival instincts were always there.” She credits her mother for that intuition. During the Fifties, her mother was exercising to Jack LaLanne and already adopting a healthy diet as part of her lifestyle. “When I realized she was different, I begged her to stop doing facial exercises when my friends were in the house,” she laughs. “She was so on it, I didn’t have to think about it because that was my frame of reference. But she was totally eccentric and sometimes ‘oh my God, what’s that about!’” Kamali says, holistically, she has learned from her parents that nothing is impossible, everything is possible, and that people from different worlds should really try to understand who the other person is because you may have more in common than you realize. The journey to explore Eastern medicine accelerated when her curiosity about acupuncture facelifts came to the forefront. For someone who has always maintained a very natural approach to health and beauty, Kamali was determined to hunt down the best acupuncture doctor she could find. “I found the best doctor in Philadelphia and I asked [Jingduan Yang, M.D., F.A.P.A.] if I could get an acupuncture facelift and he said no and I said ‘What do you mean? I drove two hours here!’ He told me I had to learn about eastern medicine before I have an acupuncture face lift, so I told him I would agree if he would allow me to tape the sessions.” The resulting work of this six-month period Kamali spent learning about acupuncture with Dr. Yang, a fifth-generation practitioner of Chinese medicine, is a comprehensive Eastern medicine reference handbook called Facing East: Ancient Health + Beauty Secrets for the Modern Age. It’s an engaging dialogue from both Dr. Yang and Kamali that morphs ancient methods of healing for the modern age. “This is really his book, but I am doing a book that might coincide with this project and it’s a book about fitness, health, beauty, and style. I’m really excited about it,” she says modestly. In keeping with Kamali’s quest for all things natural and timeless, olive oil plays a very dominant role in her health and beauty life, and that of her new online Wellness Café as well. “My mother was Lebanese, my father was Basque; clearly, there was

Profile for New You Media

New You Magazine - Ashley Tisdale  

New You Magazine - Ashley Tisdale

New You Magazine - Ashley Tisdale  

New You Magazine - Ashley Tisdale