Lynne Tillman

This photograph was taken by an amateur photographer named Robert, whose last name I’ve forgotten. He died years ago. I'm wearing a WilliWear jacket, which I loved and wish I'd kept; I believe the pants are also WilliWear. The year must have been 1986. My first novel Haunted Houses came out the next year, and the photographer posed me so that its title, on a page from the Village Voice which had published a chapter, could be seen on the table. I bought all of my WilliWear in a small, crowded store managed by an Indian man, whose shop was on 9th Street between Broadway and Fourth Avenue. It had large picture windows, though clothes were piled up so you couldn’t see inside, and was at the bottom of an office building. The store was full of a mix of clothes, much of it coming from India. I bought several cotton WilliWear shirts also; one was yellow linen, cut in a broad A-shape with wide three-quarter sleeves. I may have also bought an olive green one. The shopkeeper closed the store not that long after Willi died, I believe, and opened another store on Second Avenue in the late 1990s. But there was no more WilliWear.

Lynne Tillman in WilliWear, ca. 1986
Courtesy of Lynne Tillman