SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
By Brittany Adams

Norma Kamali could teach a college course on the history of sweatshirt dressing. Perhaps that’s because she was an early architect of the sporty trend, which has gained major traction in recent years. At a preview of her latest Spring lineup, Kamali pulled out a scan of an archival WWD spread from 1980 featuring staff members modeling her terry separates, which were revolutionary at the time but would fit right into any glossy editorial spread today. “I thought I’d had it with sweats. Then I started getting all of these requests for them again because that’s what girls are gravitating towards now,” said Kamali. “So I decided to reintroduce them in a modern way. After all, activewear is a big part of my brand’s DNA.” This season, the designer demonstrated just how versatile the athletic staple can be, whipping up easy cotton hoodies, tanks, and crop tops equipped with classic kangaroo pockets. She also showed a variety of pieces cut from the same soft material, including fishtail maxi skirts, rhinestone-studded midi dresses, and bomber jackets with billowing sheer sleeves that definitely weren’t intended for the gym. Case in point was a white racerback tank gown done in a thinner technical jersey also used throughout Kamali’s Interactive Active sub-collection of workout apparel. It hugged all the right curves and was the kind of thing you might picture Maria Sharapova getting married in. While competition is steep in the novelty sweatshirt market these days, Kamali proved that it’s hard to beat an original.