Norma Kamali has always been known as an innovative designer who follows her own path.
A designer who invented many designs like the sleeping bag coat, a collection of styles created from different parachutes, and packable multi-use clothing some of which can be worn up to thirty different ways per design. Her swimwear influences an entire industry each season since her first collection in 1974. The sweats collection was an influential force to launch the casual lifestyle way we all dress and seen round the world. By taking sweats from the locker room into fashion, it proved she was as innovative as her designs today.
Many of her designs remain as popular as they were when they were originally introduced and the timeless phrase is attached to everything she does. Her wellness collection incorporates fitness, health and beauty with her wellness café as a place for solutions. The olive oils and homeopathic remedies and recipes made from the olive tree are another timeless example of Norma’s brand.
Her passion for creating new ideas remains as strong today as it did when she began more than 40 years ago. She distributes her own line, the OMO Made in the USA Collection to selected specialty stores around the world.
Combining new technology and fashion has always been a fascination for Norma. The Norma Kamali iPhone app 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’s store’s window or throughout the store by scanning 2D barcodes are some examples of how she sees a perfect fit for technology in her business.
Once customers scan the styles they want, they are sent an overnight package as part of the “Try Before You Buy” service, another innovative idea of Norma’s. Customers have 48 hours to try their purchases in the comfort of their own homes and only pay for what they keep.
Continuing to leverage technology and making her designs more accessible, Norma was the first designer to create a virtual online store on eBay.
Norma launched a timeless style collection for Walmart in 2008 at a price range of mostly $20 and under. Promoting self esteem for women has always been a goal for Norma and with Walmart she is able to provide design and value at a great price. Her sleepwear collection for Walmart as well as the Plus version of her line will extend her reach to all women.
She 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.
For the last 18 years, Norma has dedicated 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.
Her efforts were recognized in May 2010, by the non-profit organization, Pencil, at their Gala. Norma was honored for her participation with Gramercy Arts High School and received the Pencil Partnership Award.
Norma recently received an honorary doctorate degree of Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) during the 2010 Commencement ceremony.