Norma Kamali will launch her first line of sleepwear on walmart.com Oct. 10.
This story first appeared in the July 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The sleepwear, which eventually will be sold in stores, joins other apparel and accessories categories such as dresses, outerwear, sweaters and skirts that Kamali has been designing as a lifestyle brand for Wal-Mart since 2007 under her name.
The capsule collection of eight styles, rendered in a butter-soft blend of cotton and Modal, is sized for both the contemporary misses’ customer in sizes XS to XXL and a modern plus-size line in 1X to 3X. The same styles and colors will be featured in both the average size and plus-size lines.
“Wal-Mart is working with suppliers who are professional, efficient and really want to make it work,” Kamali said. “The looks are comfortable and beautiful.”
Suggested retail for the average-size line is $8 to $12, and the plus-size group is $9 to $14. Ready-to-wear-inspired styles include a knit boyfriend shirt, a cardigan wrap robe and six styles in lightweight jersey — a crewneck sleep T-shirt, a sleep shirt with an oversize ciré peace sign logo, lounge leggings, a long lounge gown that looks like a slinky evening gown, a sleep tank and a wide-leg sleep pant. Solid colors are dark heather gray, pale pink and dark gray heather, and there are also light gray stripes.
“There are two worlds at Wal-Mart, the store for the people, where people shop for groceries, which I do, and slide by and buy a dress or a pair of jeans,” Kamali said. “Then, there’s the customer who likes to shop online. Now, there is a new, more sophisticated customer who is now shopping at Wal-Mart stores and online. I may have contributed to this, but it also could be due to the economy.”
Regarding plus sizes, Kamali, said: “I realized that I never thought I was designing for plus-size women when I was designing the collection. But then I noticed that the XLs were selling and I thought, I need to focus on plus sizes because this woman likes what I’m doing. So I thought I’ll do something that I can wear and the plus-size woman can wear, too. I never thought I would be ecstatic about designing plus-size sleepwear.”
Asked if lingerie will be her next project, Kamali replied: “I’ve started with sleepwear and we’ll see what happens.…[Wal-Mart has] to ask me to do it. Everything is very strategic.”