Quite frankly, the way I see fashion after being in the business since 1967, fashion is out of fashion. And if fashion is what you look like, you do not represent the modern woman. Style can be fashionable, but this whole idea that the fashion industry is the same and fashion has the same meaning in a woman’s life, it doesn’t. It’s completely different. Today it’s instantaneous: “I want this now, I want it overnight,” if not the same day. I don’t want to wait for anything. I mean, I’m one of those shoppers myself, I only shop online. I never go into stores.
– Norma Kamali, American fashion designer, as quoted in an interview for Women’s Wear Daily.
In the 1980s, way before the idea of ath-leisure, Ms. Kamali designed a line of women’s clothing using gray fleece. She used the sporty material for structured silhouettes – dresses, skirts, and oversized tops with shoulder pads. It was unexpected, it was chic and a big hit both with the fashion press and customers.
As for her point that fashion is not fashionable. (I think that is what she’s saying.) Well, there is much discussion going on about what fashion is these days. Currently there is a slight push-back against corporate fashion and name brands with people concerned about the environment, sweatshops, and blind consumerism. With a trend toward recycle/reuse, a desire for individual style has developed. Still, I’m seeing a lot of leggings and tunics out there, not to mention ath-leisure. I believe that despite the changes in the way we find our fashion and how we buy it, fashion is what it has always been – trends that can come from designers, celebrities, or people on the street.
Congratulations to Ms. Kamali for her recent CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.