Norma Kamali is such a strong, opinionated, and unique voice in the American fashion scene that it is difficult to imagine the successful designer as anything other than brimming with confidence. Yet, for her Stop Objectification project, Kamali shares that this wasn't always the case. When she graduated from FIT and began to search for work as a fashion illustrator, the young Kamali went to an interview, only to have her prospective employer instruct her to "put your portfolio down and turn around for me." She remembers, "I just stopped in my tracks. I thought, 'What about my portfolio?' I was 18, feeling totally out of power...and I turned around. And I was so humiliated and embarrassed."
Kamali's horrible experience, she realized, wasn't an uncommon occurrence. All women are familiar with it: the "hey baby" in the street; feeling like your chest is being addressed, not you; an inappropriate grope or grab that takes you a moment to catch on. It's a part of being a woman in 2012 — but Kamali doesn't think it needs to be.