Norma Kamali’s appreciation of the human body is never ending. Her one piece bathing suit instantly transform the wearer into a Bond Girl, while her jersey wraps double as both the chicest loungewear you’ve ever owned and the most comfortable cocktail wear on the planet. As the purveyor of athleisure, Norma paved the way since the 80’s, leading the movement of comfortable chic clothing with an attitude rooted in wellness. With the Wellness Cafe in Manhattan, Norma has a created a carefully curated collection of all thing she loves, that will make you just as beautiful as her. It’s hard to believe that she is 70 years old, with a killer figure and incredible skin. Her secret? Treating her body right. Read on to see how Norma balances a healthy, beautiful and fit life:
How did you begin on your wellness journey? My mom was juicing, doing exercises and taking supplements for as long as I can remember so I thought this way of life was the norm and thus adopted her methods. Of course, this did not happen without a rebellious period--there was a point where I was smoking cigarettes and eating bacon cheeseburgers--but I finally came to my senses and began trying every workout and lifestyle diet plan to better understand how food affects the body. Opening the Wellness Cafe was my way of sharing my findings on how we can all build strong immune systems through fitness, food and behavior.
The Wellness Cafe on 56th street is truly a wellness oasis, what inspired you to create this type of shopping experience? I wanted to create a place for solutions--The Wellness Cafe was my answer. It has remedies for the everyday stresses that are inflicted on our lives from the environment, to the food we eat and to the pressures we endure.
Did healthy living inspire you to get into activewear? Partially because of my healthy lifestyle but also because I love designing and constructing swimwear, dance costumes and activewear--really anything that wraps around the human form.
Now athleisure is a major trend, what do you think led people to finally catch on? In 1980, I launched a sweats collection that created significant change in the movement toward casual lifestyle dressing. Now, this type of dressing is the norm and the athleisure lifestyle is truly beginning to catch on to the mainstream. This is because of our lives are not as structured anymore in the way that we dress-with the exception of special occasions we can be comfortable. Working out is now the norm--it’s part of the rhythm of our lives.
Tell us more about your private label olive oil company! Olive oil has been used for nutrition and personal care--as well as for health and wellness, since biblical days. I searched for the best olive oils in the world and found my favorite orchards, which make special blends for the cafe. The quality is the best that I have personally came across and the timeless benefits of using the product are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.
Walk us through a day in your life: I wake up early for work, around 6-6:30 AM. I’ll have organic free range eggs soft boiled for breakfast with green tea of lemon water. I work non-stop with a break around 12:30 for lunch. I’ll have a big salad and a green juice. I workout every day at 4:45--usually Physique 57. Post-workout I go back to work, have more meetings or fittings. I’ll have an easy snack, like raw almonds, to keep me going. I prefer early dinner and will eat wild fish and vegetables. I generally avoid sugar as much as possible (even in juices) because it bloats, creates acidity in the body and makes you crazy. I love sleep and especially love my bed--and the guy I share it with.
Go to snacks for staying fit on the go? Almonds
What kind of beauty and skincare products do you love? Olive Oil based soaps and ointments. Otherwise I keep it very simple with no face makeup.
Do you have any special treatments that you swear by to feel your best? I love thai massage, acupuncture, meditation and breathing exercises.
Who in the fitness and wellness space is inspiring you right now? So many! The alternative medicine space is the most important for everyone to connect to in order to understand natural alternatives to disease prevention. There are too many to name, but I am genuinely inspired by those who are dedicated to healthy living and alternative choices. I am also generally interested in Vitamin C theraphy and chelation therapy for the improvement of the immune system.
What does health, beauty, fit mean to you? This balance is what all women need to give them the power to do whatever they want to achieve. A healthy mind is the key result-if all three of these systems are in sync, we are better partners, lovers, friends, parents, etc. These three things are more important than fashion--fashion only looks good on the outside body.
Sweet or Savory? Savory
East Coast or West Coast? East Coast
Lips or Eyes? Eyes
Sparkling or Still Water? Sparkling Water
Smoothie or Juice? Juice
Yoga or Pilates? Pilates
Coffee or Tea? Tea