Person

Jon Haggins

A newspaper clipping reads "The Together Thing" in large font above a full-page image of a group of people dancing.

Willi was like a younger brother. I recall he brought Toukie to my cabaret performance in the seventies. Willi definitely had a flair for casual, comfortable sportswear.

Scott Barrie, Stephen Burrows, Willi Smith, and I were doing our thing and making our fashion statements while the Black Revolution was happening across America. We were a pack that revolutionized fashion with our own style in the late sixties.

Willi was a very generous man. He even sent Toukie to my studio to purchase a gown. Whenever I met with Willi, he always had a smile and a great story to tell. We were featured together in Women’s Wear Daily. I was a guest in his house on Fire Island, and boy was that fun. Time spent with Willi was always fun. The passing of Willi was a tremendous loss for the fashion industry.

A newspaper clipping reads "The Together Thing" in large font above a full-page image of a group of people dancing.

Women’s Wear Daily article, “The Together Thing,” featuring designers Jon Haggins, Willi Smith, and Mary Ann Restivo dancing and wearing their own designs, November 25, 1968