A Day In The Life: Yamina Al-Asadi
A series focused on good living (and good food).
I met Yamina Al-Asadi over dinner one night at Gousto, a kitty-corner restaurant in the Galleria near Porta Palazzo. It was one of those last summer nights where a cool breeze was still present, and bare legs were an absolute possibility. I was instantly drawn to her calm — a trait she still exhibits each time we meet, and which reminds me very much of the American girls I grew up with. A California native and a social media manager, Yamina is new to Torino, living in the center with her love, Griffin, and happily navigating life as a strong woman. We were introduced by a mutual Greek friend and it sometimes feels like we’ve known each other for years — we appreciate a lot of the same things, have similar feelings when it comes to family, beauty, ethics, and our love for living in Europe.
On the cusp of launching an online shop called YAMINA Vintage, creating a life for her partner and herself, and balancing everyday responsibilities, she remains a positive force where negativity tends to hide.
In the inaugural feature for A Day In the Life, a series focused on good living (and good food), we follow Yamina as she goes about her day, incorporating culture, food, and identity — as one would, in Italy.
So much of your background is rooted in multiculturalism — from your German and Iraqi ancestry to being born in Florida and growing up in California. How has that impacted the way you see life today, and how you live a life in Torino?
I truly count my blessings to have enjoyed an upbringing that exposed me to diverse experiences, outlooks, and identity. From a young age, I have embraced empathic thinking. I find that I am more open and seeking ways to immerse myself in new situations and cultures. This desire manifested my hunger to travel. My life in Torino has been a transformative experience. I have met people from all over the world with many different stories. I am always open to going out of my comfort zone and exploring new things.
When, how, and why did you move to Torino? What’s your take on life in this city?
I moved to Torino a little over a year ago; October 16, 2020. I knew I always wanted to end up in Europe after University, never did I expect that to be Italy nonetheless, Torino. My partner moved to Torino for work at the beginning of the pandemic and after eight months of long-distance, I was finally able to make my way over. Italy was meant to be a home base so I could travel and experience more of Europe.
The Universe had other plans for me. Due to the lockdown here, Italy became not only a home base but a home. I started creating a routine here and finding a rhythm in my daily life. It is a small city but with quite the music, food and art scene. Italian life is a slow life; walking to the farmers market to stock up for the week, long lunches accompanied by wine, hours at cafés with a cappuccino ( since I can't do the espresso), a stroll around the city.
Growing up in Los Angeles where people are always thinking about their next step, it took time to adjust to the new kind of lifestyle. But, I love that aspect of Italian culture. I like to say that Italians live by the sentiment “live to work”.
You’re in love and living with your man — what was THAT like during a lockdown? Any tips for couples preparing to cohabitate with different working schedules and different styles?
After surviving a long-distance relationship for eight months, I’d say it took us time to find a rhythm. I think it was important that we maintained one-on-one time. Whether that be walks, dinner together, or even the most mundane things such as going to the market. It was helpful to step away from the desk and give each other time.
In terms of separating work from personal and intimate life, I believe it is valuable to be respectful of each other's space. Just because we are working at home doesn't mean we are not working. I think it is something we are all still trying to navigate.
Speaking of work, I want to know more about your new business. You’re a talented stylist and you have an excellent eye for vintage pieces — tell me more?
Thank you, that is very sweet of you! I have always loved fashion and the form of expression it provides. Besides my morning coffee, getting dressed is my favorite part of my morning routine. I always knew I wanted to do something in the fashion industry.
Over the past five or so years, I became more aware of the impact that fast fashion has on the world. I try to find pieces second-hand before walking into any other retailer. Moving to Europe last year served to cultivate a lifelong passion I’ve had for vintage clothing. I could spend hours looking through clothing racks to find something that spoke to me. Whether it be strolling the cobblestone streets of the local markets or crammed into a stuffy back room reviewing new arrivals, every second of sourcing special pieces is exciting.
Through my sourcing process, I try to find pieces that are unique to Europe that people from other parts of the world may not be able to find. I created YAMINA VINTAGE to share these pieces with people from all over the world. Handpicked by me, for you, through my travels.
What’s a typical day like for you in Torino?
First things first, I make myself a cappuccino. If you do not already have a milk frother; I HIGHLY recommend it. It takes your coffee to the next level.
I will normally check my emails whilst drinking coffee. I am also a social media manager. So, I try to get all my emails and social media work done first. That way I have time for YAMINA VINTAGE or anything else.
I will normally get ready after emails; shower, do my skincare routine, and get dressed.
For breakfast as of late, I have been making brown sugar apple oatmeal topped with almonds and raisins.
If it is a Monday, I will plan out the meals for the week. That way, when I go to the market I will only buy what I need for that week. Of course, fresh flowers as well. I will then clean, prep, and store all the fresh produce and groceries.
I try to go on a walk in the afternoons, which normally includes stopping at the vintage store to look through the new pieces. If I purchase something for my website, I will take photos of the pieces, create content for my Instagram and Tiktok and then post it up to my website. I am currently collecting pieces for Fall/Winter to put up very soon!
I try to prepare for dinner before any evening meetings. After my boyfriend and I eat dinner, I will do my nighttime routine which includes a shower, skincare routine, a facetime call with my family, and/or watching an episode of my current show. Right now I am watching season 2 of The Morning Show.
You and I both love to cook — how has your food journey evolved whilst living in Torino? What do you do more of, and what do you do less of?
I do love to cook, this is something that has evolved more since living here in Europe. In terms of a food journey, I live very close to the main market here in Torino–Porta Palazzo. They have fresh produce, meat, cheese, and eggs daily. I try to get most of my groceries from there. Seeing how fresh it all inspires me and makes me excited to cook.
I have also become more comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen. Creating my own recipes and testing out new ones. I often find myself cooking the dishes I grew up eating at home as well. When I cook for friends here in Torino, I try to cook the traditional German or Iraqi dishes I grew up eating.
One of the biggest revelations for me this year has been developing a self-care routine that honors rest, beauty, and spiritual practice. How do you take care of yourself during a busy week, and how do you see the connection between self-care and identity?
Since being in Italy, finding a new routine was very important to me. I believe that your routine is a reflection of yourself. Self-care is what helps me both be and feel like the best version of myself. Routine maintains a form of consistency that helps me move positively and confidently through the rest of my day.
In the mornings, I often write in my five-minute journal. If you are someone who wants to start journaling but does not know where to start, the journal is a great place to begin. I typically go on daily walks where I listen to music or a podcast to re-ground myself. Cooking is also a form of self-care for me. I find that the process is meditative, listening to music and creating something delicious to eat.