In my opinion, Norma Kamali is a fashion icon and an innovator. That’s why I am so pleased to see her be honored with an Honorary Doctorate from her Alma Mater , New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) tomorrow, May 25th at 10:00 am EST. I’ll be trying to watch the presentation tomorrow via the magic of the Internet. Yes, the ceremony will be broadcast from Radio City Music Hall from fitnyc.edu/commencement. I’m giving Norma a big virtual “Woot! Woot!” from Los Angeles.
Last year, The New York Times called Ms. Kamali “a designer for our times.” I couldn’t agree more, from her amazing line of swimsuits, to her sleeping bag coat, to the terrific all in one tops and dresses, this is one designer who is never boring, always surprising and makes you feel good. To me, feeling good in the clothes is the magic ingredient. When I was a struggling college girl, I saved money from waitressing jobs to pay for a Norma Kamali dress ( I used a layaway plan.) Although I was broke most of the time back then, that dress made me feel like a million dollars! I just adored it. Today, my little niece doesn’t have to save to own a Norma Kamali, she can buy a lower priced one on eBay or even at Walmart. There is only one word for that. Brillant. And that is Norma. She is in the vanguard as a designer and a marketeer. Her love for technology has brought her wonderful designs to a whole new Internet savvy audience.
FIT is honoring Kamali, who graduated from the school with a degree in fashion illustration for her long career and her talent. Norma Kamali is such a “natural” that she started designing and sewing in the 1960s without ever having made a pattern! The award honors her many design innovations, from her museum-collected fashion pieces, to her use of technology to present her fashion collections online, and later sell them on the web. Nina Garcia, fashion editor at Marie-Claire, will present the award to Norma.