Norma Kamali is a huge brand whose creations ordinarily retail for thousands of dollars. As a good friend, Peter Guber was shocked by an announcement that Kamali would be doing a clothing line for Wal-Mart with price points of $20 and under. Guber was astonished that both succeeded.
Guber later realized that this move only made sense in the context of her own back story. “Growing up, I never felt that I was pretty or attractive,” she told me. But through fashion, she could play up her naturally quirky style and feel different but equal to more conventionally pretty girls. This skill became the basis of her brand. So when Wal-Mart approached her about designing a line for lower-income women, she got excited about helping a less advantaged segment of the population embrace their right to feel good.
To overcome the objections of the suppliers, employees, media, and high-end clientele who would touch her Wal-Mart brand, Norma would open their hearts by telling them her story of being different but equal.
At the launch her new line, employees of all different ages, shapes, and sizes volunteered to be human mannequins, standing on platforms in her display area. “They were so proud to sell it. I was in tears.” Now, that is the power of telling a purposeful story!