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On the Scene: Next to Norma

Anyone who has crossed paths with the designer over the course of her fortysomething-year career can tell you that the woman has her own way of doing things.

Norma Kamali RTW Fall 2011
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 03/21/2011

Anyone who has crossed paths with Norma Kamali over the course of her fortysomething-year career can tell you that the woman has her own way of doing things, whether it’s her history of tussling with the unions or embracing social media years before designers half her age. Fall was no exception.

Kamali presented in her 56th Street store in New York, where dozens of 8-foot-tall foam cutout models had been installed. Not only did she shoot the whole thing in a single day, using two girls, with no overtime, but she personally cut every single pattern for every single stitch of clothing shown, just to prove she could.

“It was the first time I ever did that,” said Kamali, who was compelled to take to the sample room after her experience producing a line with Wal-Mart, which she said was nothing but positive, if it left her longing to reengage with the slow method. Everyone’s in such a rush these days, especially the kids she teaches at Fashion Institute of Technology, most of whom want to be famous designers right now. “I don’t think anybody knew who I was until [after] 14 years of doing this.”