Farrah Fawcett is the star of the best-selling pin-up poster of all time, where she throws her head back wearing a deep red swimsuit.
The iconic image was created in 1976 when the Texas native was on her TV series Charlie’s Angels. It has been sold on 12 million copies worldwide.
But the designer of that swimsuit, Norma Kamali, shared on Wednesday when on Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef that she wasn’t a fan of the suit. “I was shocked to see her wearing it!” said the New York native.
Top! Farrah Fawcett is the star of the best-selling pin-up poster of all time where she throws her head back wearing a red swimsuit
Bruce McBroom, a freelance photographer who had previously worked with Farrah, took the now-famous photo and was awarded $1,000 for his work.
The poster is still for sale and is said to have been copied over a billion times for use on T-shirts or other posters. It is rated as one of the iconic images of the 1970s, and a copy was placed in the Oblio satellite probe shot into space by NASA in 1977.
Fawcett died in June 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
Now Kamali, 75, has admitted she wasn’t a fan of the infamous red swimsuit.
“Well, you know, at that time a lot of designers were working very closely with celebrities and I did, I worked with so many people and Farrah was a really good client,” the fashion icon began.
Hot stuff: The iconic image was created in 1976 when the Texas native was on her TV series Charlie’s Angels. More than 12 million copies have been sold worldwide; the star with Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson
“She lived in LA, but she shopped a lot in New York and was in New York a lot.”
Kamali also shed light on Farrah’s true nature: “She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, really, really, really, really a lovely person.”
Farrah had been to Kamali’s shop and, as usual, had snatched a number of pieces from her. “She bought a lot of beautiful swimsuits – she just came in to shop and buy things,” the designer noted during the podcast.
And when Farrah bought that low-cut red bathing suit, the fashion guru was unaware: “I had no idea she bought that bathing suit,” Kamali said.
Norman was also unaware that the suit would be worn in the 1976 photo shoot for the poster.
She wasn’t a fan: But that swimsuit’s designer, Norma Kamali, shared Wednesday on Behind The Velvet Rope With David Yontef that she wasn’t a fan of the suit. “I was shocked she was wearing it!” said the New York native. Seen in 2019 in NYC
So when Norma first looked at the poster, she was stunned.
“When I saw the poster, I was shocked!” she said because she didn’t like the suit.
“I tested a lot and I tested that style. I did six swimsuits and put it in the store and I thought, “I’m not going to make that one again. It’s just not right, it’s not right,” she said. “I don’t like what I’ve done.”
And then suddenly the suit was everywhere. “Then I saw it on the poster and I thought, ‘What, who, Oh my God!’
She asked Farrah why she chose that red suit.
A big break: The blonde got her break from her husband Lee Majors on The Six Million Dollar Man in 1974
Her True Loves: With Majors, left in 1971, and with Ryan O’Neal in 1984
‘I said, why were you wearing that? Like why does that go with all suits? And she said – you know it’s so different from today, she didn’t have a whole team to put her together. – she said she was with the photographer and it was a very quiet, low maintenance place and she had the suit in her bag.’
Fawcett happened to have that red Kamali suit with him and put it on without hesitation for the shoot.
As it turned out, Farrah and the photographer “really loved it” and decided to turn it into a poster, Norma said.
She went on to explain that Farrah and the photographer had wanted to create a poster together for a long time and when they saw that image in the red suit, they agreed.
“So I literally went for the ride with that one,” Kamali added.
But she doesn’t want to take credit for the poster becoming a blockbuster.
Poster Material: As it turned out, Farrah and the photographer “really loved it” and decided to make it into a poster, Norma said. She went on to explain that Farrah and the photographer had wanted to make a poster together for a long time and when they saw that image in the red suit, they agreed. On Charlie’s Angels in 1976
“That bathing suit had nothing to do with the poster’s success. I’ll tell you,’ she commented.
She went on to “fix” the suit’s design making it “better, different.’
When the Smithsonian asked if they could use the swimsuit in an exhibition, Norma said she could give them a “new version” of the suit. The museum said no.
“We want the one who wore them,” they told me. So there it is, commemorated in the Smithsonian. So there you go,’ Norma said.