Norma Kamali, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Mara Hoffman and Mimi Prober are coming together with Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation for Fashion for Peace. The Feb. 13 group presentation will play up conscious design while supporting artisans and designers through their work.
Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation culled more than 100 Indian textiles that have been woven in a steeped tradition for some 5,000 years. Kamali found them so precious that she chose to solely drape them. The centuries-old process is at risk due to the looming shadow of fast fashion and the artisans’ offspring opting for college rather than carrying on the textile traditions. To draw attention to these techniques, each designer is creating four to six exclusive looks for the Spring Studios event. (Fans of Priyanka Chopra and Joe Jonas will recognize Mukherjee’s name for designing the attire they wore for their second wedding celebration on Dec. 2 in Jodphur.)
People’s Revolution will produce the event with the help of students of the High School of Art and Design, where Kamali is a board member. Having known People’s Revolution founder Kelly Cutrone for years, Kamali said she wanted to support the “meaningful” Fashion for Peace project. “This is a time when fabrics and products that have a connection to the Earth, natural colors are made of fibers that are simple and lovely have a special meaning. We appreciate them more,” Kamali said. “It’s also bringing energy and possibly some work to workers, who have the skill, or can be taught the skill to weave and dye, to work on beautiful materials that are just treasures.”
In the early stages of technology projects in AI and VR, Kamali said she is also working on a book about wellness that encompasses some of her own life stories, including ones that were “extremely painful” or exhilarating. Declining to identify the publisher, Kamali said the book is expected to be released some time next year. The designer hopes that sharing elements of her life “will help others to connect to their own stories and evolve towards their purpose in this lifetime,” she said.
She is also launching Normalife, a healthy lifestyle concept with the three pillars being sleep, diet and exercise. It will be featured on her site and via its own site with the help of launch partners in the U.S. and in the U.K. The first phase will focus on one product category, with a new phase being introduced every four months. There will also be wellness products to purchase.
Meditation will be a key component of the Normalife concept. The designer noted that every day at 12:30 p.m. she and her employees meditate for 30 minutes. The Midtown Manhattan store closes during that time, and once back at work, “the staff feels energized, focused and directed in the afternoon,” she said. “I am using a lot of this in the workplace to measure the productivity in a fashion environment. How is that for a test?”