At this morning’s installment of Fashion for Breakfast, hosted by Soho House, InStyle Editor Ariel Foxman sat down with seasoned designer Norma Kamali and newcomer Adam Selman to discuss all things fashion. Attendees gathered to hear the panel speak on celebrity muses (hello, Rihanna), dressing for confidence, technology’s growing role in fashion, and more.
“Being a woman myself is a strong muse for me,” Kamali says of the inspiration behind her work. “As a woman designing for a woman I know if I’m not going to be happy or comfortable in something. I really think about what is going to make women feel successful.” Selman also shared these sentiments. “As a man, I’m constantly watching women and what they’re wearing, as well as what they’re doing with their clothes. I think it’s important for me to be able to deliver confidence to a woman.”
Both designers discussed pieces they designed that helped make them famous–the red one-piece Kamali designed in 1976 that Farrah Fawcett donned in a now iconic image of the star, and the sheer gown adorned with more than 216,000 Swavroski crystals Selman designed for Rihanna’s appearance at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards. “I had nothing to do with it,” Kamali shares. “She had been a customer for many years and bought the swimsuit on her own.” Selman’s breakout moment was slightly different: “I really wanted to make a big fashion moment,” Selman says of the gown he custom-made for the singer. “That’s the genius part about Rihanna, she goes into the fashion world and says ‘I’m going to do it my way.'”
Both designers openly admitted their love for Instagram as a way of sharing what inspires them along with their own designs (Follow them: @normakamali and @adamselman). The conversation quickly turned to fashion and technology, which is a relationship Kamali is quite passionate about and has pioneered for decades. “It’s important for designers to be at the same decibel level as technology,” she says of the reasoning behind making her website normakamali.com very interactive. “Fashion is about the moment.”