NORMA KAMALI is a New York born designer, of Lebanese and Spanish Basque descent. She made it her goal to create garments that even being figure hugging, they would be totally liveable.
The Sleeping Bag Coat, designed in 1973. Kamali is most known for this garment. Described as a collectible, covetable, and comfortable.
Technology behind the coat. Kamali used the NASA method for warmth. This means that every coat is actually two coats sewn together with air pockets in between. The cold outside and body heat exchange with one another.
The Inspiration. Although Kamali didn’t publish any drawings or processes of this coat, the name she gave it explained where she gained her inspiration from. Like she describes the coat, sleeping bags are “covetable, comfortable, and collectible”.
Construction of a sleeping bag. This is significant and proves that Kamali was inspired by sleeping bags because of the structure of the materials, and the reasoning behind it. The Sleeping Bag Coat was designed to keep the person warm and covetable but also for it to be comfortable. This is the same reason a sleeping bag was made.
The material used on the outside is supplex. Supplex is a synthetic stretchable fabric which is permeable to air and water vapour. This was used so that cold weather conditions would not affect the body inside the coat.
The coat is filled with polyester. Polyester is a synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by ester groups, used chiefly to make synthetic textile fibres. This is used as an insulator which traps body heat when the coat is worn.
The original Sleeping Bag Coat at the MoMa.
A sketch I drew while observing the Sleeping Bag Coat; taking all details into consideration.
Adverts and magazine covers glorifying the coat. A garment that has made comebacks each season.
Different versions inspired by The Sleeping Bag Coat. This is made the same way but does not go all the way down to the ankles.
Shorter than the previous version, and also in black. A contrasting colour to the original however some have said it is easier to wear.
Other designers inspired by Kamali’s creation.
Celebrities and famous editors are photographed wearing this iconic design. Andre Talley is pictured wearing the infamous coat.
This coat will never be forgotten. Kamali recently styled Lady Gaga while she performed at a concert. Even though this coat was designed decades ago, it will always be popular with those who wish to express themselves.