Why Norma Kamali’s Diana Dress, Beloved By Carrie Bradshaw, Has Barely Changed Since The ’70s

SJP’s “Carrie dress” – seen in the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot – was originally designed in the ’70s.

Norma Kamali, the woman behind the Carrie dress 2.0 – the baby blue ruched bodycon number Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That – has experienced unprecedented demand for the design. “It’s as if we’re giving it away,” Kamali says over Zoom from her home in New York. 

The Diana dress, it turns out, has been flying off the shelves for the best part of a year. Thousands sell per week, with retailers keen to stock up the moment it sells out. “I can truly understand why people love it,” she muses. “It fits a moment in time.”

Modern fans – the Kardashian-Jenners included – might be unaware that Kamali’s popular dress was first designed in the ’70s, during the early years of her brand. Unique for its sculpting internal bodysuit – a modification she made in the ’80s that’s designed to ensure that the draped surface offers a flattering fit – the fabric has become more “high tech” over the years. Today, it is available in a midi or mini length and an array of colors to suit customers who buy several styles at once. 

Model Alessandra Ambrosio wearing a white Diana dress in 2018.

Chance Yeh

The designer credits the Diana’s recent success to the increase of marriage ceremonies and functions. “People think [the pieces] are brand new,” she shares. “The women who are interested in wearing them now are the same age as the women who were wearing them in the ’70s.”

In addition to timelessness, mid-range price points are a major selling point for Norma Kamali. Dresses and basics are around the $100 to $300 mark, while remakes of her famed puffy “sleeping bag” coat, which counts Rihanna and Beyoncé as fans, are upwards of $600.

Her trick to staying relevant? “I think the secret is being authentic and true to your brand so that you don’t confuse people,” she says of her designs which even featured in the original SATC series. “You can’t always be the flavor of the month, but you can be the best version of you. And I think that that’s really what people want. They want to know that you’re going to be consistent [and that the] core of the brand is authentic.”

Norma Kamali Diana jersey minidress

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Norma Kamali spat stretch-jersey leggings

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Norma Kamali open-back stretch-jersey halterneck maxi dress

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Norma Kamali long-sleeve turtleneck jersey fishtail dress

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Norma Kamali long-sleeve drop shoulder bodysuit

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Norma Kamali Diana jersey one-shoulder midi-dress

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Norma Kamali long-sleeve knotted shirtdress

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Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag puffer coat

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This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Alice Cary

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