If you ask fashion designer Norma Kamali what makes a home the ultimate place to live, she’ll tell you without hesitation that it’s versatility. “You want to be able to easily reinvent a room with flexible pieces that can be used and displayed in different ways,” she told me when we recently met via Zoom. “The approach gives you the freedom to constantly change up the design.”
This recreate-your-space-on-a-whim principle informs the aesthetic of Kamali’s longtime West Village apartment—it’s also the inspiration for her new line, appropriately called NORMALIFE HOME — and AD has the first look.
Debuting June 15 and in pre-sale mode right now, the venture will roll out through the end of the year with six pieces that are equal parts practical and chic with playfulness thrown into the mix: a pillow, comforter, rug, cube, ball chair, and cone chair. Each item will be available in five patterns. A calming home scent with a bottom note of patchouli and overtones of camphor, lavender, and geranium is also part of the lineup.
Although Kamali, 75, has been an established clothing designer for more than a half century—and has a cult-like following for her stylish creations such as the extra-light and ultra-warm “sleeping bag coat”—she says that home design has always been a side pursuit.
“I’ve made home decor and furniture for myself for years and love playing around with looks to transform my house in an instant,” she says. “It’s fun.” When friends and colleagues kept asking Kamali if she would replicate her own pieces for them, she finally decided to turn her hobby into a formal business.
NORMALIFE HOME will launch with its hero product, a 28-square-inch pillow ($285) crafted with nylon lycra and cotton. It comes in a black-and-white stripe, white with black dots, marble, hologram, and paint canvas. Use it as a footrest, Kamali suggests, or sit on it when you’re meditating. Stack up three or four, and you have a seat or table.
“I want to introduce the pillow first because we experience a lot of stress in this world, and it represents calm and relaxation,” she says. “It’s grounding, and I love that it’s wide enough to wrap your arms around and hug like another human being.”
Like the pillow, the rest of the pieces are pliable and easy to move around. Kamali is especially proud of how easy they are to care for. “All you need is a sponge and soap and water,” she says. “Nothing is high maintenance. Life can be challenging enough. Decorating your home shouldn’t be.”