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Lasting Effect

Norma Kamali Everlast, hitting stores in January, brings back memories of Kamali's celebrated sweatshirt collection, which caused a major stir when it was launched in 1980.

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NEW YORK — “These are pieces that you layer to death with a ripped T-shirt or jewelry,” said Norma Kamali, as she stood amid a phalanx of mannequins dressed in items from her latest venture — a contemporary line made in collaboration with the sports brand Everlast.

Norma Kamali Everlast, hitting stores in January, brings back memories of Kamali’s celebrated sweatshirt collection, which caused a major stir when it was launched in 1980. In fact, a few of the pieces have been re-created from that original collection. For those items, Kamali took cues from Katy Rodriguez, co-owner of the vintage store Resurrection, who bought Kamali’s massive fashion archives last fall to sell at her shops in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. “Katy gave me a lot of feedback on what she was selling, and really, on what she was wearing,” said Kamali. “People loved the cocoon jacket, and Katy said that she was living in the [harem-style] sweatpants.”

Some of Kamali’s new riffs on sweatshirt dressing include various forms of tweaked hoodies and a cropped zip-up jumpsuit, along with minidresses and poufed skirts. The 80-piece collection of reversible, terry-cloth styles is offered in heather gray, black, white, ivory and even a silvery lamé. With an average retail price of $200, Norma Kamali Everlast will be sold at Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, in addition to select boutiques such as Intermix in New York and Colette in Paris.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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