“My life’s dream has been to promote self-esteem for women and wellness for the entire family. Through the Wal-Mart stores and Web site, I can reach more people and affect more lives than in any other venue.” — Norma Kamali, on her deal to create a line with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Feb. 28 from WWD.com).
We can’t really think of a better reason to create a lower-priced line for the mega-retailer — can you? Our curiosity was piqued and our interest in the collection grew as the launch date approached. Sure enough, as mentioned in an earlier post, many of Kamali’s signature items rapidly sold out! We wanted to know how Norma Kamali was able to translate her innovative style to a collection priced at $20 and under, so we decided to give the line a go and try some of the pieces on ourselves! Norma Kamali and Wal-Mart were kind enough to lend us some pieces so that we didn’t have to trek to New Jersey for the nearest Wal-Mart location. We tried on items from both her Activewear and Careerwear categories for Wal-Mart, and our conclusions are as follows:
We were impressed with the quality of the jersey dresses, but overall felt that the Careerwear was targeted toward an older customer. That’s absolutely fine– and is part of the Kamali mission in creating the collection. We tried on the swingy Jersey Red Twist Shirred Dress, $20, which had a great fit, flattering paneling in the skirt portion, and remarkably well-done twisting and shirring on the bust.
Our main obsession with the collection was the Activewear; we loved how comfortable the sweatshirt material was, and vowed to buy several of the items we tried on. The best part about the items was that there were tiny details that really added a lot of value, such as trims on the sweat pants and cardigans that definitely showed that Norma Kamali put a lot of care and effort into making the collection quite extraordinary for the price point. The organic cotton tees for $6 felt amazing in both the hand of the tee and the fit — in our opinion, to offer organic shirts for $6 is going to convince the fashion industry that it can, and should be done at lower prices. I really liked the Bootcut Jog Pants($15), and are actually acceptable to wear outside of the home! Us fashion pulsers were fighting over the Milk Terry Hooded Oversized Sweatshirt ($15), which could be worn as an actual sweatshirt, tunic top, or even a dress! Last, we really like the incredible softness, detailing, and longer length of theLong V-Neck Cardigan ($20) which had a thin, tissue-like underlay trim and adorable, military-inspired epaulets on the shoulders.
Overall, we commend Norma Kamali for doing an excellent collection that fused great design and quality, and can’t wait to get our hands on more Activewear pieces! The collection is available online, and in select stores nationwide.