February 07, 2020

On January 30th, Role Model Kerrin Smith hosted a mindfulness workshop at the Melody Ehsani store in Soho. Kerrin is the founder of Cool And Thoughtful, an initiative to redefine what “cool” means in the fashion industry as being empathetic and kind rather than self-absorbed and rebellious, and the workshop offered four strategies for practicing mindfulness in daily interactions, starting from Cool And Thoughtful’s premise that inner peace takes full flight when it helps us be kind and present with others.

From stylists and entrepreneurs, to models and artists, a group of diverse women gathered in the name of style and mindfulness, but evening itself bloomed into something more than the workshop - we came together as strangers to share intimately, find ourselves in the other person’s experience, and to support each other in strengthening our mindfulness muscles. 

Kerrin walked us through how to first get in touch with our emotional reactions and then coached us through “slowing down time” to become aware of what those reactions feel like in the moment they’re happening. From there, she shared a handful of techniques for staying present in the face of a reaction so that we can speak and act from a place of presence rather than upset. Together, we then practiced applying these techniques to our daily lives, walking back out on to Kenmare street with a fresh perspective on how to stay mindful even when it’s the hardest. 

Taken together, the Cool And Thoughtful workshop demonstrated how fashion and mindfulness can come together to create positive change -- as Kerrin says when she talks about Cool And Thoughtful, “it felt like fashion, but the experience was one of mindfulness.” That was the magic that happened at the Melody Ehsani store on Thursday, a night that demonstrated how fashion really can be a way to catalyze community and spark new ways of thinking and acting. 

Photo cred to Amy Para, @paraskeva