When Barneys’ Creative Director Simon Doonan takes the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and interview someone, you know they’ve got to be doing something special. So was the case when Doonan spoke with Amala Creative Director Ute Leube.
Amalah is currently available at several Barneys locations. Doonan’s interview coincided with the launch of the 100% certified organic skin and body care line in the New York City Madison Avenue store. He of course always asks the cheekiest questions. Here’s a sampling…
SM: Are you wandering through the German Alpes gathering organic herbs? Where is your office?
UL: The Amala headquarters are situated at the foot of the German Alpes in a small village called Sulzberg, you can see first hand each day the power of nature and the power of plants.
SM: How did you come up with the name Amalah? Translation please!
UL: In Sanskrit, Amala means “most pure.” I am practicing Buddhist. My beliefs guide my life and also the way I choose to conduct business.
SD: Are you a woman on a mission?
UL: Our mission is to enhance natural beauty through organic skincare developed in harmony with nature and our fellow human beings. My goal is to nurture the skin – but also the soul. We return 5% of our net profits to the growers in our global fair trade farm network and other related sustainability organizations.
SD: Which Amala products would you recommend for someone in a high stress situation like, for example, Michelle Obama?
UL: The Rejuvenate line is ideal for stressful times. The all-natural fragrance of the line is based on bergamot, damask rose, lemon, vanilla, jasmine, ylang ylang, and others. This blend is balancing and centering for the senses.
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An event was held to fete the line on April 16th at the Barneys New York Penthouse Suite, and Leube gave an inspirational speech, noting how far we’ve come to now have a completely organic line (that in the past might have been labeled “granola”) in a high-end department store like Barneys.
I was able to test-out a few of the products in the line, and they’re wonderfully fresh. They are light on the skin, absorb quickly, and have light, invigorating natural scents. They’re formulated with only whole plant ingredients, each custom-distilled to ensure its potency and sourced ethically from fair-trade farm partners across the world. They’re also free of chemical preservatives, petrochemicals, parabens and genetically modified ingredients.
There are four lines in the collection: Hydrate (with jasmine for dry skin), Purify (with blue lotus for oily/acnegenic skin), Rejuvenate (with cocoa bean for mature skin), and Detoxify (with myrtle, fig and olive oil for dull, dry, uneven skin, or skin exposed to pollutants).
What struck me the most, however, is the beautiful packaging (designed with recycled materials and soy-based inks) – most everything in the line is bottled in an off-white/crème-colored packaging and comes topped with a cork top.