Tampa Museum of Art


Posted on: May 10th, 2016


The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to announce an exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking fashions of designer Norma Kamali. A first of its kind fashion exhibition for the Museum, NORMA KAMALI and CITY: FASHION+ART+CULTURE, will be on view June 20 through September 25, 2016. 

This multimedia exhibition is organized around themes tracing the influences and designs of Kamali’s work. It features approximately 25 looks and ensembles from the designer’s earliest to her most recent collections, many of which are displayed on mannequins. Accessories, sketches, famous looks, excerpts from videos, and documentation of how Kamali is credited as introducing some of the most iconic looks of the 1970’s and 1980’s depict how Kamali has influenced woman around the world.

Recently, Norma Kamali announced that she will be the recipient of the 2016 CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards ceremony, in New York City, will see Kamali join the highly esteemed ranks of her fellow peers like Tom Ford, Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Grace Coddington, who have each accepted this prestigious honor in past years from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Michael Tomor, Executive Director of the Museum, commented, “Capturing the career of a single artist over a fifty year career has never been more gratifying.  Norma Kamali, recognized for her fashion focused on fitness, health, beauty, style and entrepreneurship, will be represented by thirty eight-foot cutout Glamazons with interactive video performances as well as 25 classic original designs that represent looks indicative of her career and contributions to the world of art.  We are honored to launch a new fashion initiative at the Tampa Museum of Art by featuring Norma Kamili’s in our first museum fashion exhibition.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the fashion industry’s most forward-thinking influencers who have succeeded in creating outstanding careers. Kamali’s prolific career spans five decades of non-stop rule-breaking and incredible innovations. To name just a few, Kamali’s Sleeping Bag Coat, Parachute and Sweats Collections and highly coveted Swimwear mark some of her most brilliant, timeless contributions to the fashion conversation, as well as pioneering the concept of fashion films and early use of the internet and technology, speaking directly to the consumer.

As Kamali enters the next exciting phase of her career, championing women with her brand mantra and initiatives in FITNESS, HEALTH, BEAUTY, STYLE & ENTREPRENEURSHIP, the Lifetime Achievement Award is a timely reminder of her continued influence and thought-provoking style Norma Kamali commented, “It is an honor to collaborate with the Museum on an installation of my work.  Tampa is more and more a cultural center with an interest in all forms of art. Style created through clothing is a form of living art. I am so happy to be sharing my work with you at the Tampa Museum of Art.”

This exhibition is sponsored in part by Penny & Jeff Vinik.

Media Sponsor: Tampa Bay Times

The culmination of this exhibition is one of the city’s most anticipated events, the 7th annual CITY Fashion event on Saturday September 24, which will feature a live Kamali runway, heavy hors d’oeuvres from Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, open bar featuring Tito’s Vodka, wine and champagne, craft beers, decadent desserts, and live entertainment and dancing. Tickets prices for students and young professionals are $75, individual tickets are $100, and VIP tickets $250. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

CITY: Fashion+Art+Culture is a collaboration between the Tampa Museum of Art and designer Norma Kamali.


About Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali began her business in 1967 as a shop owner making styles in her sample room, and selling from her retail store.

Her goal from that first day as an entrepreneur up until today was to have the freedom to be creative, and to use that creativity to design styles for women to make them feel good.

Kamali is not just a designer. She is an innovator. An inventor. The Sleeping Bag Coat, the High Heeled Sneaker and the Parachute Collection are all iconic Kamali looks. In 1980, she was the first to present the innovative Sweats Collection and the Active Sportswear Collection as core parts of her brand, where they remain today. Her influential Swimwear is recognized globally as highly directional and has remained an influence in the market for decades. The KAMALIKULTURE collection of affordable styles are all easy care, require no dry cleaning and are great for travel and the modern lifestyle.

Norma Kamali has won numerous awards for fashion, film, interior design, and architecture. She has also received awards from the White House for her work with public schools, as well as a wide assortment of pro-education organizations. Norma received an Honorary Doctorate from FIT and has been honored as the keynote speaker at several commencement addresses. Norma is involved with, and supports numerous women’s organizations. She has been a key speaker and host at a variety of women’s, entrepreneurial, and wellness events.

Today her brand is based on every aspect of a woman’s life, from FITNESS, HEALTH, BEAUTY and STYLE to ENTREPRENEURSHIP. This has now become the mantra of her company. Her belief in the strength of the internet, ecommerce and social media and being able to directly communicate with her followers is key to her day-to-day business. The future of the global, mobile connection to women around the world is an opportunity never seen before and perfect for her lifestyle concept.

The Wellness Café, the products in the Cafe, as well as the information and guidance Norma provides her followers is another aspect of her connection to women. By informing women on topics that relate to self-esteem, and body image, she feels their confidence can develop. A healthy body translates to a healthy mind and spirit. This is an empowered woman.

Her Stop Objectification campaign is an awareness campaign about the unique experiences a woman has regarding objectification. These issues involve all women around the world. It is her goal to free women of the stigma of those experiences that can take them down emotionally and spiritually, inhibiting their chances for reaching their true potential.