Subscribe to TheZenFashionista to receive blog posts directly to your email!

Subscribe to TheZenFashionista to receive blog posts directly to your email!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Interview With Alana Stewart

I had the pleasure and opportunity to interview Alana Stewart. She is the president of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation, an author, actress and model (Merely for point of reference, she is also the former spouse of actor, George Hamilton and singer, Rod Stewart). 

The ringing of my cell phone set my nerves on edge. I'd never really interviewed anyone before and interviewing a person, who meant a lot to me, was exhilarating and unsettling all at once. A woman named Christine answered, and said hello at least twice before any words would leave my lips. “This is Lauren, Alana’s expecting me to call her.” When another voice came through the phone, it sounded chipper and bright. This hello, I did hear. It was one of Alana Stewart. As Alana and I said our hello’s and got established in our conversation, I began to feel more comfortable.

Do you want me to just jump into it?

Sure! Let’s do it.

What was it like moving from Texas to New York, at such a young age?

I actually moved to Houston first, which was a much bigger city than Nacogdoches (the tiny town I was raised in), but it was still very different from New York. Especially, back in those days! I look back on it and I wonder why I wasn't terrified! I think when we're young we don't get scared of those things- it was just a big adventure to me!

What has been the biggest challenge in your life?

Certainly, a big challenge for me was when I came down with Epstein Barr virus, after I had my two youngest children. It kind of debilitated my health for a long period of time. I never really fully recuperated from it. I still have some of the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome and have to be careful to conserve my energy. It was a challenge raising children and not being a hundred percent strong and healthy. I would be exhausted and couldn't be out in the yard playing baseball with my children, as much as I would have liked. I was a person who was very energetic all my life. It was hard for me not to be as active.

Do you have any advice for someone suffering through something similar?

I saw a lot of holistic doctors. There were some doctors who thought it was all in your head (before it started to be recognized as a real condition). I think for me, it slowly started to turn around, when I went to an Ayurvedic clinic outside of Boston, that Deepak Chopra was running at the time. He was helpful in getting me into meditation and some alternative healing. That was kind of the beginning of my journey. I talk about it in my book, Rearview Mirror. I think a lot of healing has to do with our minds (and emotions).

What has been one of your proudest moments?

I think having my children is probably the most life changing thing that's ever happened to me and the most rewarding. My children, have great hearts and they have their ups and downs and struggles and challenges in life, as we all do. But, they haven't had a particularly easy time, which might be surprising to a lot of people. I'm very proud of all of them and the people they've become. Even though I haven't always been the perfect mom, being a mother is what I'm most proud of.

Who would you say is your celebrity crush?

My celebrity crush? That's a good question! I haven't thought about that. I don't think that I have one! There are a lot of celebrities that I admire. I don't think there is anyone that I'm obsessed with. Or that I follow everything they do. I think it's because I know what this whole life is about. I know that being a celebrity isn't what it's cut out to be. However, I do admire celebrities that do something, such as charity work or are doing things to help other people. For example, Elton John, a dear friend of mine, is someone that walks the talk, as exemplified by his work with AIDS.

What is your favorite movie?

I would have to say my favorite movie of all time is probably, Gone With the Wind. And What About Bob is one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen.

Is there a book that you have read over and over again, that you'd recommend to a friend?

A book I love, that I read every day, is A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections by Marianne Williamson.

I've read some of that and I can see how applying it to your everyday life is extremely helpful. Especially, when you're going through a tough time.

Definitely, it's helpful. Along with this magazine that I read everyday, The Daily Word. I read a lot of passages from it and find a lot of the things very inspiring.

Can you tell me about the work you do at the foundation?

Farrah was one of my dearest friends and when she got cancer -it was just such a shock because no one expected it. She was so full of life. It just really made me see that cancer doesn't play favorites. Anyone can get it. Through those three years of being very close to her, (during the time that she fought cancer) I learned so much. I realized I’d been looking for something to do, to give back and that was a way for me to. After Farrah passing, becoming president of her foundation became a very important part of my life. I’m proud of the work we've done at the foundation. We have an alliance with Stand Up To Cancer and we're working very hard to fight HPV related cancers. We are educating people to better understand how it can cause cancer, and what can be done to prevent it. We also help people that are currently fighting cancer; people that might be in trouble financially. We have patient assistance funds at various institutes around the country. We give money to those institutions and they have people there who designate, who need the funds. Sometimes people are getting treatments and they can't even pay for their own parking.

When you're going through a rough patch in your life, what helps you get through?

Prayer. And turning to spiritual literature. I keep a journal of different things that I’ve read, that have inspired me spiritually. I also have a few people on my spiritual support team that I'll always go to when I have a real challenge.

Why do you believe that spirituality is so important and how does it impact your daily life?

It's part of my routine now. I get up every morning and read my spiritual readings for the day. I then meditate on them. I don't always do yoga, but I try to do it a few times a week. When I get up in the morning and when I get home at the end of the day. Just a short session, not anything long. I don't always have the time because I'm in the office nearly everyday and am very busy. It's so important to begin my morning in a spiritual way. When I can't, it really throws me off. When you first wake up, you're the most receptive. In my opinion, if you just get up and turn on the TV, and start reading the newspapers, you're filling your mind with a lot of negativity. It's very important to put something more positive and spiritual into your brain.

Do you have a favorite quote?

There's one I love by Meister Eckhart. You could look it up to get the exact wording, but I think it’s- if the only words you ever said were thank you, that would suffice. It speaks so much to me about gratitude. No matter what's going on in our life- if we can get our eyes off the negative and look at the positive, it really can shift things. Just being grateful can actually change your life. It can be easy to focus on what’s wrong in our lives and it’s hard to pull ourselves back and look at what's going right. Sometimes there's very little going right. But if you can find that (something positive) and just start to focus on it – it’s like – being grateful is a magnet. You know? The more you can be grateful for what you have, the more the universe tends to bring into your life.

What is your skincare regimen?

I feel like simple is best. I get facial treatments. I have a woman who uses this machine that helps stimulate your cells and firm the skin. I use very simple creams on my face. Since I've been doing the foundation work, I've learned that there are a lot of things we put on our body and on our face that actually have really bad ingredients. I'm very particular about what I put on my skin now. I look for things that have pure ingredients. I moisturize my face and I put on body lotions. I mix coconut and almond oil together and I'll use it after I get out of the shower. I also like argon oil.

Who is your favorite designer?

For evening wear, I love Oscar de le Renta gowns. I think they're just beautiful. DVF is a terrific designer. She’s a friend of mine. I wear a lot of Helmut Lang and Rag and Bone for more casual wear. I also like Pucci and some things by Stella McCartney. I don't buy a lot of designer things- because they're too expensive these days.

A lot of it is made in China.

Exactly, I shop in a lot of stores that have a lot of different designers-Where you can find cute, fashionable things.

How would you describe your style?

I love fashion, but also don't think women should be a slave to every latest trend. I would say, that my style is elegant and edgy all at the same time.

What is a modeling memory that you have?

I started modeling for Eileen Ford in New York, and one of my earliest memories is going in front of Diana Vreeland and trying on clothes. I mean, she was this fashion icon. I was so happy to be able to meet her! I don't think she paid much attention to me - but she just sort of would wave her hand to go onto the next outfit. It was certainly exciting for a young model! The first runway show I ever did was for Valentino and he's a friend of mine now.

When your daughter Kimberly decided to follow in your footsteps and become a model, how did you react and what were your thoughts?

Well, I didn't want her to start out too young, but as of 17, I was fine with it. I would've loved for her to have gone to college, but she chose not to. I don't believe in forcing kids to do something. Once they're 18, it's really hard to force them to do something they don't want to do. My kids are all very headstrong, none of them wanted to go to college. None of them loved school that much. They all seemed to want to go in various directions of the arts. I was always of the thinking that it was important for them to be doing what they loved, and doing what they're passionate about. So, I was fine with her modeling. I just wanted my daughter to have something that she could move into, as modeling is a fairly short lived career.

What was it like being a part of Studio 54?

It was an incredible time. People had so much fun. I only went when I was in New York, which wasn't often. It was the first of its kind and was just a really fun, lighthearted period. I think a lot of people became much more cautious and serious, once the whole AIDS epidemic started. It was harmless fun- somewhere you could go and dance ‘till all hours. I loved Steve Rubell (who was one of the owners). It was nice to have a place to go and hang out with your friends.

Who or what inspires you?

What inspires me is, people who do things that really contribute to the world. People who get out of themselves and do something bigger. That's the kind of thing that I want to be able to do. I want to be able to, no matter how small a level it's on, give something back to other people. If I can share my own experience, share my own strength and share my hope with other people...If even only a handful get something from it, I still feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile. I believe we are all here to give back to the universe. We're not just here to live our little small selfish lives, and you know, die and turn to dust. I think its nice to be able to leave something, no matter how small it is. To do something for other people. Working for The Farrah Fawcett Foundation is a big part of my life and a big passion. Doing whatever we can to help to find a cure for cancer, or better treatments, or make people more aware of prevention techniques, is something I find truly inspiring.

What is next for you?

I have no idea what's next for me. I just put it in God's hands and wait to be guided to the next step. I will always be involved with The Farrah Fawcett Foundation, no matter what, because my heart is in it. I'd love to do another show with my family, but who knows if that will happen. The other thing I'd love to do is a women's talk show.

Thank you Alana for allowing me to interview you. 

Click the links below to learn more about the foundation and to keep in touch with Alana

The Farrah Fawcett Foundation




Click here to read my blog on Alana's book, My Journey With Farrah: A Story of Life, Love and Friendship.

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or feel free to email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com :)

If you would like to subscribe to my blog, I would really appreciate it! You can click the subscribe tab at the top of this page, or give it to me personally. 

Until next time,



  1. Whoa, a wonderful interview :-)

    <3: Jasmin N

  2. You said you never really interviewed anyone before, but by reading this interview I never would have thought that. You asked really good questions which helped make it a really good interview. Good job with that. Your blog is great, I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. I didn't really know too much about Alana Stewart before this, but she seems like an incredible person who does great work, I can see why you admire her so much. I'll also be sure to check out the Farrah Fawcett Foundation for sure because I'm sure she does amazing work there. Have a great week.

  3. Well done. such a great interview. I agree with Samantha re interviewing people. Thanks for this post. Will be shared ☺

  4. Lauren,
    This interview is excellent. I am quite impressed with your questions and Alana Stewart's honest answers... The work Alana does for the foundation is very important...Thank you for sharing this interview with your Facebook friends...

  5. I just loved this interview! Your questions were perfect for anyone less familiar with Alana Stewart(me��) to get to know who she is & what she's about. I loved & so agree with what she said about gratitude. I know you loved her choices in designers..DVF! Amongst other things of course but that was really sweet to me��
    This was a really lovely interview, uplifting, interesting & fun. This was really awesome work Lauren, very professional, just like reading it in Vogue or InStyle. Good for you, I'm very proud of you & happy for you!

  6. An inspiring read and great questions!

  7. I cannot believe that this is the first time u r interviewing someone! Love all the questions that u asked.... This is an excellent post :)

  8. What a great and interesting interview. You covered many parts. Most interviews are pretty short, so it was nice to get a really long and inspiring one!

  9. ah such a cool experience! ♡

  10. What an amazing opportunity - you clearly did your research and asked some really interesting questions - seems like a beautiful lady outside and in :)

    Lisa @