Norma Kamali gives Fashion 2.0 Awards keynote address

Fashion 2.0 founder Yuli Ziv, designer Norma Kamali, and the evening's host Robert Verdi

Fashion designer Norma Kamali gave the keynote address at Style Coalition’s third annual Fashion 2.0 Awards in New York this evening, focusing on how technology is propelling the industry into the future.

She referred to today as the most exciting time to be in fashion since the 1960s. “What’s now the most innovative and new, and what matters, is not the clothes, which repeat themselves, but how we tell the story about fashion,” she explained.

It’s about how we personalise it, and how we humanise it, she added. “You can know my story, know about me, and if you know me as a woman, you can connect with me.”

But she also said what she loves about it is the feedback you can get from your consumers. Where once the magazines owned the power and the information, now real people, who love fashion, and love to communicate and share it, are the ones who have that. They can tell a story to all of the people who follow them, in the same way that brands can, and really make an impact on them, she said – this is modern fashion today.

She referenced her background working for an airline straight after graduation when she couldn’t get a job in the 1960s, as the reason behind her desire and love for technology. At that time, airlines were like Apple today, she explained: “Technology was really driving the industry, it was an incredible leap into the future.”

She expressed that same sense of “tomorrow, today”; a place that is far ahead, but we are on our way there now.

The Fashion 2.0 awards themselves aim to recognise and honour brands striving to reach these very goals; those with outstanding achievements and communication strategies in the online community, and those considered best in class across a variety of digital media channels.

Kate Spade took the Top Innovator title beating out other nominees including Oscar de la Renta and Coach, and previous winners, Burberry and DKNY.

Meanwhile DKNY PR Girl, otherwise now known as Aliza Licht, international senior vice president of global communications, scooped Best Twitter and Best Blog by a Fashion Brand, for her more recently launched Tumblr page. Click here to see a full list of all the rest of the winners.

Kamali, who was nominated in the best online video category, will be showcasing her second 3-D film at New York Fashion Week next week.

(Image via @giafrese)