Person

Forest Young

A model walks down runway wearing a shirt, bandeau top, and pants with all-over multicolor pattern of squares with dash marks; television monitors play behind the model

I first encountered WilliWear shopping with my family. There was a ritual phenomenon that existed—the moment of discovering WilliWear had to be followed by a loud “Willi!”

I’m imagining I was eight or nine years old, totally smitten by the alliteration of the brand name. There was a subtly celebratory quality knowing the creator was a designer of color and that his clothes were within a price point to be acquired immediately. The clothes were there to move in and have fun in an innocent, straightforward way. He was somehow able to exact fun in the form of an object.

A model walks down runway wearing a shirt, bandeau top, and pants with all-over multicolor pattern of squares with dash marks; television monitors play behind the model

Willi Smith for WilliWear, City Island Spring 1984 Presentation, 1983


Three models wearing multicolor printed shirts and jackets, standing in front of palm tree backdrop

Willi Smith for WilliWear, Sightseeing Spring 1985 Presentation, 1984