Image Story

On Set of Expedition

Willi Smith conceived Expedition as a new format for presenting the WilliWear Spring 1986 collection. The film was shot by Max Vadukul in Dakar, Senegal, in 1985 and featured several of Smith’s regular collaborators including Mark Bozek, Linda Mason, and Peter Gordon. Smith cast the film with locals and the Theatre National Daniel Sorano dance troupe, styling actors in WilliWear looks inspired by the streets of Dakar. Expedition reveals WilliWear’s embrace of film as a mechanism for disseminating fashion concepts beyond the runway and Smith’s desire to draw inspiration from and reflect on his African heritage while encouraging his audience to explore African cultures.

Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of a bespectacled dark-skinned Black man, Willi Smith, dressed in a pink and black women's ensemble, wearing colorful makeup, a headwrap, and holding a film slate
Makeup artist Linda Mason and Willi Smith on the set of Expedition. Willi is dressed in a pink top, and brightly colored bow on his head. He is getting his nails painted and is wearing bright blue eye liner.

Linda Mason and Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection, Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Three dancers standing together wearing colorful WilliWear ensembles, headwraps, and face paint

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Makeup artist Linda Mason applying makeup to Willi Smith dressed as a ship captain; two men stand by and watch the application

Linda Mason and Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of Willi Smith dressed as a character from Expedition film wearing a white helmet and all-white ensemble

Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection, Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

A man taking a photograph wearing a pith helmet, tan shirt with rolled up sleeves, and khaki shorts

Max Vadukul on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Makeup artist Linda Mason applying lotion on the shoulder of a dancer on Expedition set

Linda Mason on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Dancers on a boat wearing vibrant WilliWear garments printed with abstract smiling faces

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of five Senegalese female dancers posing in coral, blue, and white WilliWear outfits accessorized with hats, turbans, and gloves

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Close-up photograph of Senegalese dancer wearing large yellow hat and blue and white vertical striped shirt

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of Senegalese dancer posing in large yellow hat, matching blue-and-white-striped pants and jacket, with a white turtleneck underneath and striped coat in hand

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancer on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection, Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Five men marching in a line outside wearing pastel clothing

Lou Salvatori and Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of people on a beach; a dark-skinned man bends down to pick up something wearing WilliWear Productions swim trunks with a printed face of a woman in grayscale and bar of text across the figures eyes

Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Two dark skinned men stand in a small boat holding fishing nets and wearing printed WilliWear swim trunks

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Photograph of a young dark-skinned girl looking at camera lens while sitting in sand and wearing patterned WilliWear pants with green wire top

Theatre National Daniel Sorano Dancers on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

Willi Smith on the beach holding a small child dressed in WilliWear

Willi Smith on Set, Expedition, Willi Smith for WilliWear, Spring 1986 Collection. Photographed by Mark Bozek, Dakar, Senegal, 1985

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