Tuesday, March 23, 2010



11 West 56th STREET, NYC

Words, Images Judith Ecochard/LYRAMAG


Norma Kamali may avoid the camera lens…but she has got to be the most technology lovin’ fashion designer out there.

It should not really surprise us. This is a woman who has always grabbed the bull by it’s horns, as they say on Wall Street…

First with her lifestyle breakthrough (in our minds) collections back in the 80’s…using gym wear/terry fabrics …and morphing the active wear vibe into high fashion. Her puffy, sleeping bag down coat, as well as her pinup worthy swimsuits---- are other Kamali signature pieces.

And smart lady…she owns her signature flagship store on West 56th Street.

SO…as part of the “SEE IT NOW, BUY IT NOW, WEAR IT NOW” mindset…gets an interactive element, via ScanLife Mobile technology.

How that worked for us…we downloaded the ScanLife technology on our Blackberry (any pda with a camera works as well)….from the company website…and then aimed our device at the 2D barcodes on cards in front of the pieces. The pda picture then gets recognized by Scanlife…

Violà ---we were linked to videos about how, for example, a dress can be worn seemingly dozens of ways. So fun. Other scoops...lookbooks and press info can be uploaded, viewed…and saved or not.

We found that the speed of it all varied…but with the emergence of 4G networks…this is definitely the wave of the future.

Luddites need not worry though…Kamali has excellent human customer service…and an easily accessible Skype number too!

Technology aside, it’s REALLY all about the clothes for us. We love how Kamali manages to conjur up produce fashionable clothing at all prices points…with some separates insanely inexpensive.

WHAT WE LOVE…everything. Walmart has a line of Kamali clothes, including leggings and a motorcycle style jacket made out of terry materials with bold silver zips that coast $10 and $20 respectively…and our lived in all in one dress.. The trench coat…retails for $48.  And yes, a side by side comparison with the OMO collection trench…there is a difference DUH

But still…

HINT!!!!  At these prices and given the stylish silhouettes …Walmart smartly has which stores carry what and in what size…on its website. PLUS: one can order online…as the sizes are accurate…and returning is a breeze.

Kamali also has an affordable eBay collection with fabulous polka dot and animal print glamour swimsuits straight out of Hollywood, circa the 40’s…fishtail and one shoulder dresses, jersey separates, and a terrif PRINCE / SGT PEPPERS’s style terry double breasted jacket ($295) with tails, leggings etc.

 The high end, made in the USA OMO Collection… available on a try it before you buy it basis…

FYI: More affordable than most designer collections…and includes many classic sunglasses too.

Our favorite look of OMO collection is---actually the many pieces made from actual parachutes that Kamali sources and magically turns into glam jackets, tops and skirts (including this full skirt pictured here for $3800). The ruching is amazing!!!!

… and with many original elements like pull strings…still in the mix, so to speak. Trendy, timeless…and hey, can’t beat the fabric for durability either. 

And as we have written prior…Kamali has as iPhone app where customers can access her website.

And her five story townhouse has evolved into a wellness center too…with an organic juices available…as well as olive oil body products that soothe.

Talk about customer service WOW!!!!