DESIGNING IN PARIS – 3

Wow, things are going good and time to open a shop! It had to be at walking distance from my place so no tiresome transports, enough space to have a room in the back where we could work and it did not take us long to find a wonderful looking place right around the corner of Rue de Douai where I lived: 22 Rue Fontaine-Paris 9eme. The thing I liked was that it had 2 windows opposite each other making a corner to the entrance, so they were really big and they had some mirrored pillars in them. We made very funny windows, like one window all in black and white and the other one in the same order but all in color or one window like it is a mirror of the other and so on, that was great fun specially because we did have 2 window dolls in my image to dress up. The shop itself was in a sad condition when we found it  but with the help of Salvador, physical as well as financially, we got it to look incredible, it looked more like a very cozy living room than a boutique.

 It was great, nobody seemed to mind it was right there in Pigalle, the Rolls Royces stopped right in front to have the rich and famous just dash into the shop. It was so funny for us to think where it was made and where it was going…

Painting Salvador did of me which was hanging in the boutique

Now with the shop being set up it was also time to explore America and the chance to do so came from friends in Holland who had a famous shop in Amsterdam called: Puck and Hans and we were in contact because they sold our tunics there. They were going to do the American Fashion Fair in NY and asked me if I would pose for them in their clothes,  ( I was still a model) in exchange that we could have a part of their stand to show our line. Now we only had to pay for our trip and stay so it was very attractive and Cooky and I  went…

 This poster collage I made for Puck and Hans and not long ago he (Hans) send it to me on Face Book and like I said, although we made tons of pictures, I lost them all so it was great to see this one. In the collage you can see Puck ( the statue) and Hans (with my dress on) and Cooky and me having fun in NY city. We also had a chance to visit American Vogue where we were so well received by Polly Allen Mellon and all her crew and they all bought our outfits and even made a picture with a little write up for Vogue and later Polly wrote me a very long letter saying how much she liked it. We also met with  Carry Donovan, famous fashion editor, who bought one outfit for her self and one for Diane Vreeland, in red of course, and later wrote me by hand a very nice letter telling me that Mrs Vreeland was very happy with the dress. Karl Lagerfeld took me out one night with Andre Leon Talley, and we went to the craziest nightclubs somewhere very downtown, was funny and as everybody  who is in the fashion business knows, the New York Fashion week is an exciting time.

 Some write up in The WWDaily and the NY Times..

Back in Paris lots of work was waiting again as we now had quiet some stores in America who had ordered, Henry Bendels and IF among others in NY, Maxfield in Los Angeles, in Texas, Chicago and nationwide in Saks and other Department stores. We were still struggling with all the work, the money and the legalities. We always had to pay up front but had to wait quiet a while before getting paid by the stores which were many now, all over France, specially in St Tropez and Cannes, in Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland and Belgium and they are always in a hurry and then the re-orders came in and we had to think of new pieces to complete the line. Luckily we got help from a lovely girl, friend of Cooky, by the name of Sophie Bouchara, she was adorable and a great help.

 We made this postcard to send around                             ( Ph. Tony Kent, collage by Willy)

We had a lot of famous clients and saw pictures all over of people wearing it, we even made little ones for children and short ones like a shirt for boys and even Alejandro was wearing one..

 … and below a friend wearing it, Lara Koski, here in Los Angeles with her son Kaylan in around 1977

 ..and Pia Frithof my friend and lovely model, looking wonderful in the whole outfit, even  the skirt that went with it as well, no end to the way you could combine it..

Alejandro and Apple playing Cleopatra and Antonio, he wearing the Tunic and she the pants….

… some still have it and some still wear it or the daughters or grand daughters wear it… below is Ava Hervier of Lipstick Std  wearing it here and now, clicking on her name you can see her video and hear her sing.

 .. and myself here below, posing for myself a few days ago in the tunic a friend had kept and gave me, the pants were kept by my sister…, consider that it is not easy to push the button and then have 10 seconds to run to your place and pose… ha ha and of course a bit of Photoshopping…

We are in mid 1978 and something very important and different is happening…
I am pregnant…

LOVE AND PEACE

 

7 thoughts on “DESIGNING IN PARIS – 3

  1. Love it! What exciting times… Love the tunics! Such amazing designs and colors! Love and peace (so funny! I always say that too!!! )

    • what do you mean Raquel? I have the feeling this was meant for some one else? much love

  2. Wow, very interesting life told in a very cozy, intimate engaging way…needs to be a book..and the photos are are like icing on a cake. Really beautiful…Willy you look awesome and Salvador’s fantastic paintings make me pea green w/envy…in a good way. Makes me want to work harder!

    • Thank you Kenny, there is nothing better then being an inspiration as I know you are too, much love

  3. What a career you have Willy ,
    and maintaining a pure demeanor throughout,
    not an easy task in this business!

  4. Mamma mia! the penultimate photo is fantastic … you are more beautiful every day
    Besossss and thanks again for sharing