One of my first jobs in fashion was working as an intern for Norma Kamali back when I was still in High School. Kamali is a true online pioneer. She was selling her designs on the internet way before the e-commerce boom, and she had instated a program where you could, as she called it, “shop like a celebrity”.
In essence, this meant you could pick out as many pieces as your heart desired, and then you had a designated amount of time before deciding which, if any, you wanted to keep and pay for. Not paying up-front is not even a commonplace practice when it comes to online shopping now, so imagine how revolutionary it was when Kamali first introduced the concept.
Now Kamali, who also partnered with Walmart for some very affordable collections, just launched a marketing and retail strategy that incorporates social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, and soon Hulu. Her goal is to better her customer’s experience.
The designer noted that she works better when she feels challenged, and she told The New York Times at length that she is never one to shy away from standing-up for what she believes in. The designer added when speaking to WWD that the economic climate has forced her to think about something she would not have necessarily thought about otherwise. Among the services she will be offering is helping her online shoppers via Skype to figure out the appropriate size to make their purchase in.
Kamali has also introduced a program in conjunction with her “shopping like a celebrity” program (now called “Try Before You Buy”) where a customer can become certified and obtain a party kit with samples from her collections. Once certified, they can hold a small event, and their party guests can order the pieces and get them through Norma Kamali directly. The wears in the program range from $95 to $1,500 and they include everything from swimsuits and dresses, to pants, tops, and jackets.
The designer is also Twittering under the name NKCollection, has a Facebook page called “Norma Kamali Collection,” and has recently launched a YouTube channel which is slated to be used for style guides, employee Webisodes, and other video footage from the Kamali empire.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.