Ballpark Estimate: under $20 for most pieces in the Walmart line to $3,000+ for high-end designer styles
Got an extra $20 to spare? If so, then you may want to invest it in a flattering Norma Kamali for Walmart designer dress (similar to those in her upscale line that sell for several hundred dollars or more) that even the most stylish fashionista would probably be proud to wear.
The Kamali Flair
Almost anyone can look fashionable these days, no matter what their budget, size and age. This is in at least small part thanks to the efforts of well-known designer Norma Kamali, who is going to great lengths to bring high-end style to the masses in a very big way.
Seeing Fashion in New Ways
For the past several decades, Kamali has been crafting unusual, yet practical, clothing pieces that can be worn in different ways. Many people know her best for starting several new trends, including parachute clothing and sleeping bag coats. She has also added her own spin to create fashionable active wear and design flattering swimsuits that many real women want to wear.
Over the years, these and other niches have helped her earn large group of reliable fans. Up until recently, though, most of her pieces were available only to those who could afford the high price tags.
Spanning the High-Low Range
This has all changed in the past year. As the economy has taken a turn for the worse, in keeping with her tradition of being on the forefront of the trends, this forward-thinking designer has made a commitment to empower more women to be able to wear her clothes and enjoy looking and feeling great without breaking the bank. To this end, she has partnered with discount superstar Walmart to create a line of ultra-affordable clothing without sacrificing the quality that typically goes along with her prestigious label.
At a time when many couture designers are reaching for new customers by creating very inexpensive versions of their clothing lines for chain stores like H&M, Kohls and Target, Kamali has created her Walmart collection in a different way. While some designers offers a small array of limited edition items in inexpensive fabrics to make them accessible to a lower price point, Kamali has created a large selection of items available for Walmart shoppers. Rumor has it that she has also tried to keep the fabric, color, cut and finishing similar of these items similar to her own higher-end line. The result is a very affordable collection of casual and work pieces that can fit a wide range of body types and can be mixed and matched and worn in multiple ways.
Where to Buy
A limited number of Walmart stores throughout the country stock the Norma Kamali affordable designs. In addition, you can find access to all of this clothing through Walmart’s own website.
Of course Norma Kamali also continues to design her own private (and pricey) designer lines. You can find the high-end items in several ways. First, you can shop at Kamali’s retail shop in New York City. You can also sometimes find some of her styles through high-end retailer Bergdorf Goodman. Or, you can order directly from the Norma Kamali Collection website. The site also offers an innovative feature called “Try Before You Buy” that allows ordinary people who can afford her prices to shop like a celebrity by previewing pieces at home for 48 hours, then keeping and paying for only the ones they like. Further, people can “Try before You Buy” in person by attending a Norma Kamali private house party (or hosting your own). Party attendees can even log in online for access to Kamali representatives who provide the latest tips and personalized style advice.
Finally, a small number of independent clothing boutiques carry some test designs from the Kamali line but without the label inside. So if in your shopping travels you find an item that you swear is a Kamali style, you just may be right.
Back to Her Roots
Kamali’s career dates back to the late 1960s. After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion illustration, Kamali got her first taste of working in the field when she opened a small shop in New York City and stocked it with an array of items by British designers in an effort to bring European style to America, which seemed to be a hit with shoppers. Then Harper’s Bazaar Magazine included a mention of the boutique in its pages and it became even more popular. The attention encouraged Kamali to launch her own line of designs. She made a name for herself with her swimwear, sweat suit collection and her sneakers that feature high heels.
An Award-Winning Designer
Throughout her career, Kamali has earned a great deal of attention and recognition for her forward-thinking approach and her wearable designs. Her awards include the Coty award for “Design Innovation” and for “Best Womenswear Designer.” She is also elected into the Coty Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in women’s wear. In addition, she was among the first designers to be listed on the Fashion Walk of Fame on New York City’s 7th Avenue. These are just a handful of the many honors she has received over time.
Caring About People, One Outfit at a Time
When Kamali recently decided to broaden her fashion offerings to reach people who previously couldn’t afford anything she made, a statement she has listed on her website reveals her excitement about being able to reach a new group of women and give them access to her designs in an effort to help them look and feel great and have improved confidence and self-esteem. Each of pieces is designed to be easy to fit, easy to care for, and easy to mix and match so by investing in a handful of basics, women can build an entire wardrobe.
What It Costs
What you will spend on a Kamali item depends on what you want and wear you shop. If money is tight or you just enjoy the thrill of getting a great bargain, then by all means, try the Walmart line. Almost everything costs $20 or less, with the exception of a classic double-breasted trench coat, which is priced at $30.
T-shirts start at $6, while many of the pants styles are in the $15 range. T-shirt dresses are also $15. A versatile wrap dress is $20, as is a fitted blazer and a long v-neck cardigan. So for $100, you can easily get five or six pieces or even more and most of them shouldn’t go out of style anytime soon.
On the upscale end of the Kamali offerings, footed zebra leggings around about $100, while a bodysuit blouse is $375. Cat suit leggings adorned with studs are $550. A Victorian-inspired jacket made from multi-color parachute fabric is close to $100. Further, a slip feather chemise dress of silk satin will set you back between $2,500 and $3,000.
So you can find Kamali pieces spanning the range of under $20 on up to a $3,000 or even higher.
A Worthy Investment
At a time when the balance of your retirement fund and what you own in stocks are both probably lower than they were a year ago, you may be heartened to know that when it comes to value, it seems like at the least the more affordable Kamali items can hold their own and even bring back more than you spent if you decide to sell them later. Since some of the Walmart styles are sold out fast, many people are buying multiple pieces and selling them on Ebay or through resale shops for higher prices.