1960's, democratization of design, modern sculpture, norma kamali, pierre cardin, spiegel, target, wal-mart

has democratizing designer clothing EVER been this democratic?


i don’t know how much more democratization of designer clothing i can take. the latest designer spotted: norma kamali. i know what you are thinking. target!! oh, how i wish that were true. no, ms. kamali has jumped right into the deep end with with wal-mart. yes, you read correctly. wal. mart.  

to view the collection on wal-mart’s website, click the link below:


to see kamali’s website  displaying the wares:



to be fair, i went to wal-mart today to inspect the goods at closer range. the quality was better than expected. in fact, the quality of the knitwear was really no different to the ill-fated spiegel catalog collection (now in liquidation.) while the knitwear was credible, the career clothing wasn’t worth purchasing (even though they did line the blazers. the fabric was very flimsy, making the jacket look incredibly cheap.) apparently shoes, accessories and a trenchcoat round out this mass-market kamaliwear.  the verdict? i’m bristled by this development. i’ve been a supporter of kamali’s since the late seventies, i’ve followed the ups and downs of her career. i cheered her goofy ideas that somehow seemed to work. i applauded her sexy swimwear and snug fitting knits (some of which evoke the fabulous futuristic look pierre cardin designed so gloriously in the sixties.)

lycra jersey safety pin modern sculpture dress

lycra jersey safety pin modern sculpture dress



i’m bristled because i know who she is, and have been a fan for decades, yet people who don’t even know [or care] about good design will purchase these items because they are cheap and available. they probably won’t understand how to wear them, or the potential each knit piece might have. kamali’s clothing isn’t easy to figure out; you can wear it so many ways it’s intimidating. it’s difficult for most people to wrap their head around the concept that a easy fitting top can also be worn as a skirt, a long skirt can also be worn as a strapless gown, and so on. some of the sportwear is really nicely designed, constructed amazingly well for the price and i just might buy a few pieces. and yes, i am still bristled. the jumpsuit below (no zips or buttons) can be worn any of the five ways seen or any more the wearer can dream up.


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