Person

Peter Goldfarb

A newspaper clipping with a title that reads "The State of children's wear." A heart is hand-drawn around an image of a man on the page, and note in black ink is written across the article text that reads, "You are more than great. Why didn't I know if before. I love you. Willi Smith."

I first met Willi in 1969 at a Young Design America meeting. Then, Chippy Irvine wrote a Mickey Rooney + Judy Garland–style musical put on at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in 1969 by Celenese Corp. Willi and I auditioned, and I got the Mickey role.

The show was a 1940s musical called “P.X., I Love You,” and the cast was all from 7th Avenue. We worked very hard, and raised money for something, and did about five sold-out shows.

Willi was a lot of fun, and with clunky shoes, pleated pants, ribbed sweaters, cropped hair, and round glasses, Willi’s sister Toukie said she could hardly tell us apart except for our color.

We were both loft-dwellers and antiquers. When I would find an Aunt Jemima or “Negro” salt and pepper shaker, I would send it to Willi to add to his collection. I was also friendly with Clovis Ruffin and Claude Montana. Doing children’s clothing, I was not competition to these talented friends.

I am glad I saved these newspaper clippings, along with many other clippings from my years in the fashion industry from 1966–1979. I then switched to interior design and left New York City in 1985, as AIDS was taking many of my friends. After six months in California, I discovered the beauty of Skagit County, 60 miles north of Seattle, where I found and renovated an old farmhouse and became an inn keeper. I am now retired, with some great memories of some wonderful times and friends from my fashion days.

A newspaper clipping from the New York Times. It features a drawing of 4 figures standing prominently at the bottom of the page and reads "Design America. The young individualists at Franklin Simon."

New York Times article, “Design America,” August 29, 1970.
Article text: “The Young Individualist is in the Design America Circle. They’re our favorite group of young, united designers who help to shape the American fashion scene. We admire them so much, we’ve created a special Design America Shop where you can see all the excitement.”
Included on the list of participating designers are Peter Goldfarb and Willi Smith.
Courtesy of Peter Goldfarb


A newspaper clipping with a title that reads "Modern Clothes for Modern Kids." A note in red ink is written across the top half of the page that reads, "You think, I haven't been keeping up with you. I'm so happy that all this is happening. Willi Smith."

Women’s Wear Daily article, “Modern Clothes for Modern Kids,” February 19, 1974.
A handwritten note from Willi Smith reads, “You think I haven’t been keeping up with you. I’m so happy that all this is happening. Willi Smith.”
Courtesy of Peter Goldfarb


A newspaper clipping with a title that reads "The State of children's wear." A heart is hand-drawn around an image of a man on the page, and note in black ink is written across the article text that reads, "You are more than great. Why didn't I know if before. I love you. Willi Smith."

Women’s Wear Daily article, “The State of Children’s Wear,” March 25, 1974.
A handwritten note from Willi Smith reads, “You are more than great. Why didn’t I know it before. I love you. Willi Smith.”
Courtesy of Peter Goldfarb


Newspaper clipping. A long narrow image of a row of ten actors onstage sits at the top of the newspager. They are singing, with arms raised and out to their sides. In large letters across the center of reads "To a Designer, the Play's the Style". In the lower right hand corner of the newspaper, a woman with an ornate head covering talks into a microphone. Under the photo it reads "Ann Webster as Carmen Miranda".

Newsday article (Nassau Edition), “To a Designer, the Play’s the Style,” January 17, 1969