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Norma Kamali is known for inventing styles that have influenced a number of trends through the years. The sleeping bag coat, the high-heeled sneaker, clothing made from parachutes, influential swimwear, as well as bringing casual dressing to the streets through her sweats collection in the 80’s.
Innovation for Norma is not just through design but through the way she sells and markets her clothing. Her website was started in 1996 and her “Try Before You Buy Service” allows clients to decide in the privacy of their own home and only pay for what they keep. Her staff offers support for clients through vehicles like Skype.
Norma has been a retailer since 1967 and is constantly looking for ways to transition retail innovation alongside her online presence. At her flagship store in New York City, bar codes are used to scan and shop from her window and displays throughout the store. She recently replaced her mannequins with 8-foot glamazon’s cut-outs of models in her latest collections.
Dance parties, beach karaoke events all are part of the new social shopping experiences. Norma’s collaborations with Wal-Mart, Everlast and Spiegel show the range of markets she can comfortably design for. Her longevity in the business has three generations of women wearing her clothing. A fun example is Lady Gaga’s latest video. She is wearing her mother’s wedding gown designed by Norma in 1983 and, at the same time, Gaga was seen wearing a Norma Kamali gown from her current collection. You can see Norma’s designs on celebs throughout her career from Farrah Fawcett’s famous red swimsuit to Beyoncé today.
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