L.A.’s chicest green couple is ready to glam up a new crop of eco-scenesters
Angeleno, January 2008
Sure, they have famous friends like Adrian Grenier and Leo DiCaprio. She’s graced billboards and reality shows. And his latest clothing collection made big waves at L.A. fashion week. But model Josie Maran, 29, and designer Ali Alborzi, 34, aren’t just your average power couple. Together, they’re living the orglamic lifestyle and bringing eco-chic to new heights.
Maran, a former Maybelline and Guess spokesmodel (and recent Dancing with the Stars contestant), just launched an eponymous, organic cosmetics line. The makeup and packaging is recyclable, biodegradable, even compostable. Seizing upon the void she found in the “chicological” (her word) market, Maran teamed up with longtime friend and makeup artist Ken Hughes and spent two years developing her product. “Once you go green, you never go back,” she says.
Alborzi, meanwhile, makes up half of the eco-trendy clothing line Evidence of Evolution, which, for its most recent runway show, boasted actor Vincent Gallo, nightlife impresario Brent Bolthouse and Maran (of course) as models. Alborzi and partner Andrew McCarthy (who’s worked with Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada) started the company four years ago, a label that features casual, slim-fitting, organic and sustainable clothing (for men and women) made by local artisans. “It’s all about
integrity, and it’s all from the heart,” says McCarthy. “We’re both very spiritually aware and aligned right now.” Alborzi is also developing “the most exclusive luxury eco spa and residences” this side of possible with friend Val Kilmer on the actor’s Pecos Rivers ranch in New Mexico with an opening slated for 2010. By incorporating the entire town (one of the poorest regions in the country, according to Alborzi), the two are trying to create an effective and profitable business plan while still preserving
the wilderness. Both Josie Maran Cosmetics and Evidence of Evolution participate in Carbonfund.org, through which companies donate money to counterbalance their carbon emissions.
The unmarried couple live in an eco-correct Beechwood pad with all the green trappings. They just remodeled with reclaimed wood from a barn up north. Maran even popped out their first child—daughter Rumi Joon, now 19 months old—in the backyard under the guidance of three midwives and some surprising help from some soap: “Earlier in the night, I took a hot shower and found some Jo Wood [wife of The Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood] soap that smelled so healing and soothing I used it for
aromatherapy… I would walk around the house sniffing a bar of soap!” A few hours later, sans drugs, “Rumi Joon arrived safely into Ali’s arms first, and then into mine.”
Of course, they compost, buy produce from farmers’ markets and use nontoxic cleaning supplies. Even the baby’s diapers are green. “We’re trying to ease into it so that it becomes the norm in the future,” says Maran, who claims to have been green without really knowing it. She grew up in an ecoconscious family in Menlo, California (her father was a green builder), but it was the birth of Rumi that pushed Alborzi (who’s from Iran but grew up in Saratoga) further into the green movement. “There’s nothing better to get you motivated than having a family. Rumi was my inspiration,” he says.
Continues Alborzi: “You have to lead by example—you can’t tell someone not to smoke if you’re standing in front of them puffing on a cigarette. Being green takes a little patience.”