It was the last day of fashion week, with the exhaustion and burnout from the last eight days already taking a toll on me, but there was no way I would skip Norma Kamali’s fashion week presentation! It was done in two parts — the first part was a 25 minute presentation at the Apple Store in SoHo, in which Kamali explained and demo’ed some of the innovations she’s incorporated into her business, from the “try before you buy” model with customers now using Skype, the Roiworld game, the more on-trend ebay-exclusive collection, to the Norma Kamali iPhone application where one can fashion an outfit and then buy the actual items at Walmart.com. Normal Kamali has always been way way ahead of the curve, and is so modest that I don’t think a lot of fashion devotees even know to attribute her with many of her amazing contributions to fashion.
I give her so much credit for designing in her own style and executing the Wal-Mart collection, which now includes a $24 all in one dress, and she announced that for winter a $35 sleeping bag coat is on the way. The invite to the event was titled “the democracy of fashion” and in Kamali’s case, this really does ring true in everything that she does, from make really good fashion affordable for all, to her re-appropriating of materials such as parachutes, sleeping bags, and jersey fabrics into fantastical yet functional new creations. The second part of the presentation involved a lineup from Kamali’s new collection for ebay, her OMO (on my own) collection found in her store, and the Wal-Mart collection. Most of the collections were interspersed, and the only distinguishing factor to tell which was which was the signs the models were holding. Despite the rain and the last day of fashion week mayhem, Norma Kamali is always worth paying attention to, because what she’s doing now, will eventually set the pace for many other designers to follow in the near future.