Norma Kamali has always been known as an innovative and inventive designer who follows her own path — as demonstrated in her designs for her “sleeping bag” coat, a collection of styles created from actual parachutes, and the packable, multi-use clothing……some of which can be worn up to thirty different ways per design. Her swimwear continues to influence an entire industry each season since her first collection in 1974.
Her passion for creating new ideas remains as strong today as it did when she began almost 40 years ago.
Combining new technology and fashion has been a fascination for Norma. The Norma Kamali iPhone application introduced at her presentation “The Democratization of Fashion” in the Apple store, plus the use of new Scan Life technology allowing customers to shop from her flagship store’s window or throughout the store by scanning 2d barcodes, are just two examples of how she sees technology supporting her business.
Continuing to leverage technology and making her designs more accessible, Norma was the first designer to create a virtual online store on eBay. Her collection on eBay is presented directly to the contemporary shopper.
More recently, in conjunction with the April 3rd introduction of the highly anticipated iPad from Apple, Norma took full advantage of the new medium to reach her customers through the first digital version of Interview Magazine. Once the Norma Kamali ad is clicked, the user will land on her swimwear website, then to the product page, from which they can use her “Try Before You Buy” service and only pay for the items they decide to keep. The ad also includes a mini look book video of the entire swimwear collection. Customers have 48 hours to try their purchases in the comfort of their homes.
Norma has received numerous awards for fashion design, architecture design, interior design, the creation of fashion video short stories, and community public service. Norma has a plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame and was the recipient of the CFDA Board of Directors Special Tribute Award in 2005.
In 2008, Norma launched a “timeless style” collection for Walmart, to provide consumers with styles that are great investments at great value, which can last for years in their wardrobe. Included in the collection are swimsuits which are priced at $20 and under.
For the last 18 years, Norma has dedicated her time in the New York City public schools, working with students and sharing how to bring art together with commerce and establishing job opportunities for students who are artistic and creative. She is being recognized for her work this year through PENCIL, an organization known best for the “principal for a year program.
To view Norma Kamali’s full CFDA Member Profile please click here.