Galore Icon: Norma Kamali
Norma Kamali is literally a LEGEND. In her 45-year long (and counting) career in the fashion industry, the designer has been credited for such pieces like Farrah Fawcets red swimsuit in the iconic Charlie’s Angel poster, as well as bringing shoulder pads into fashion in the 80’s.
Check out our interview with the designer below, and in our new issue, available HERE!
What’s the biggest difference between designing when you started versus now?
The ability to communicate personally and directly with the customer on a global scale is awesome. Designing itself is faster and the movement of styles is faster. It is important to always have an authentic voice.
Is there a singular influence that has followed you throughout your career?
Timeless style. I really think more and more about what will look good in the long term. I think disposable fashion is fun for a certain period of time. But, developing a collection of styles in your wardrobe that look good with time is really to me what looks the best. As you add new styles to them they look even better!
What is it about fashion in that makes you cringe?
If a woman comes away feeling she is not thin enough, rich enough, or pretty enough as a result of our efforts to excite and show newness, this is cringe producing. Especially, if she spends all of her money on head to toe labels that are out of most people’s price range for clothing. This shows a woman who has self esteem issues and is looking to clothing to define who she is.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My iPhone alarm, but I must say I love the mornings and I usually wake up with ideas of things I would like to do.
How many stores have you had and how many different neighborhoods?
I haven’t had a lot of stores but all have been in Manhattan and one in Beverly Hills early on. I was quick to jump to the Internet and literally had a website in the mid-nineties. Of course the three people who had computers were my first to interact directly with me, and my clothing on line.
Where did you party back in the day? Where do you party now?
I love to dance anywhere, any time for as long as the music plays. So my first actual club was the Peppermint Lounge the original on 45th street. I was 16 and loved dancing the twist, mashed potato and all the great dances prior to the British music. Then I used to go to the Speakeasy in London in mid to late sixties. When Studio 54 opened I was very close friends with Ian Schrager so I was a partier before the actual club opened. Now, if there is music tell me where and I will not sit down.
Have you ever had a muse?
I kind of think of what I would like and then look at what women want for that particular time.
You’re responsible for an incredible iconic design, the sleeping bag coat. Do you see any such iconic designs today? If so, what?
Iconic designs to me are timeless styles. The best things I have ever done have been styles that I can still do today. Modern is also important if it is timeless and easy care it is super modern.
There is so much opportunity at this time. I have worked in fashion since 1967 and I used to think the sixties were the most revolutionary and important. The truth is this is the most exciting time not only in fashion but in every part of our lives. It is a great time to deconstruct and reconstruct the world around us. I am loving it.