Person

Stuart Lazar

Sketch of a figure wearing a textured cardigan over a turtleneck with wide-leg pants, a beanie hat, and sunglasses

Through my connections in the industry, I was referred to Laurie Mallet for the vice president of menswear position at WilliWear in 1982.

Prior to WilliWear, I had owned my first company at age 21, and at 26 I worked for Yves Saint Laurent as the head of men’s sportswear when his brand came to America.

When I went to my first meeting at WilliWear, I realized the only thing Willi and I had in common was that we were from Philadelphia. He showed me the beginning sketches of his men’s designs, and he had a niche. I said, “We need to dress people from the Village to San Francisco and to the streets of Houston, people walking in Indianapolis, Indiana.” Willi responded, “Stuart, Im there with you. Thats why we brought you in. I want to be a success, and to me, success is seeing my clothes worn on the streets across the country and then, around the world.” We launched the first men’s collection in Spring of 1983.

Sketch of a figure wearing a textured cardigan over a turtleneck with wide-leg pants, a beanie hat, and sunglasses

SUB-Urban Fall 1984 Illustration, Willi Smith, 1984