“I have been a vegetarian since I was like… 12,” actress Olivia Wilde said while sitting next to Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This at the James Hotel on Monday night. “But [being vegan] has been something that, for the past four years, has at times been consistent, other times less so,” she said of her more recent and more challenging dietary decision. “It helps if you have the right support system,” Wilde explained. “The person who really showed me the best way to do it was Alicia Silverstone. We were shooting a movie called ‘Butter’ and we were in Northern Louisiana — where there is no vegetarian food — and she cooked the most incredible recipes from the Kind diet for me everyday. I have never looked or felt better in my life.”
“[Being vegan] is not always easy and accessible,” she continued, “but it’s a way of life and makes me as a person feel really good and physically look better. My skin was better, energy was better.”
This all-around feeling of wellness was present throughout the Shopbop-hosted evening, a celebration of Wilde’s “Message Bag,” which she designed in collaboration with Alternative Apparel and her charity organization Campaign Happiness, which provides aid to schools in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. To make it all a bit more special, Domesek was on-hand to help attendees customize their bags with safety pins, studs and stencils.
“Olivia is getting involved with sharpies and paint pens” the DIY blogger said, pointing to Wilde’s specialized messenger bag which had her initials “OW” on the front. “Like my email!” Wilde explained, “When you get an email from me it just says ‘capital O.W.’ and people always laugh when they get it because they’re like ‘ow!'”
But this bag is no laughing matter. In fact, it is inspired by the vintage army bag Wilde picked up years ago and would bring with her on trips to Haiti with Artists for Peace and Justice every few months. “We went everywhere, and I always brought this bag,” Wilde recalled, “it would be [filled] with everything from bug spray to malaria pills to scarves to lenses. I’d throw it in the back of a pickup truck, throw it in the dirt. It was our go-to, all-purpose bag.”
The original bag, much like the ones she and Domesek were working on, was customized. “My original bag had on it, ‘Finally Stopped Dressing For The Boys.'” Wilde said, “It came with that, which was why I bought it. Someone had typed it on. I thought, ‘that’s so cool, that’s something I am proud to show off.'”
And she can be proud of this one, too.