Person

Stacey Appel

Newspaper clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's wedding

I was 12 years old in 1987, at the time when the Philadelphia Inquirer printed the comic strip of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s wedding from Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man comic series.

In the wedding, depicted in the Amazing Spider-Man Annual in 1987, Peter Parker married Mary Jane Watson, who wore a formfitting wedding dress designed by Willi Smith before his passing. I cut the strip out and managed to keep it all these years—I kept it in a box with fashion drawings I had done as a kid.

I’m from Philadelphia and wanted to be a fashion designer since I was young. Willi Smith was my favorite designer—I assume I was exposed to him because of the Philly connection. I never got to wear any of his clothes, although I’ve gotten into the habit of going on eBay and trying to find his pieces every now and then! His style back then inspires how I dress now.

I also collect vintage fashion magazines and acquired the November 1978 issue of Life magazine, which included a story called “Three Black Designers” with pieces on Willi Smith, Stephen Burrows, and Scott Barrie. I found it at a flea market a few years ago and drew a fashion illustration from the piece on Willi Smith.

Newspaper clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's wedding

Newspaper clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s wedding. First published in the Amazing Spider-Man Annual, 1987.


Photograph of magazine article with portrait of Willi Smith and images of three models posing and dressed in WilliWear

Photograph from "Three Black Designers" article featured in November 1978 issue of Life magazine


Color illustration of two figures standing side-by-side wearing WilliWear outfits with white and yellow hats

Illustration by Stacey Appel, drawn from 1978 Life magazine article that highlighted Willi Smith