Women's Wear Daily

Willi Smith Exhibition Teaches Young Designers About Streetwear and Collaboration

TRUE WILLINGNESS: Some of the more outspoken on-the-rise designers might think otherwise, but the old adage “What’s old is new” seems indisputable in the “Willi Smith: Street Couture” exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, in Manhattan. It’s the first museum exhibition dedicated to the work of Smith, who died at age 39 of AIDS-related complications in 1987. He was said to be the most commercially accomplished black designer at that time. On view from Friday through Oct. 25, the show features 200-plus examples of his work, and it’s not just fashion. Smith combined affordable basics with avant-grade performances, film, art and design. Videos, photographs, artwork, drawings, patterns and performance are intertwined throughout the first floor of the exhibition. As the wall text makes clear, Smith was a frequent collaborator, having worked with Keith Haring, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Nam June Paik, Juan Downey and Dan Friedman, among others. Near the entrance, an oversize quote from Smith explains his ethos, “I don’t design clothes for the Queen, but for the people who wave at her as she goes by.” During a preview at the museum, Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, curator of contemporary design and Hintz secretary scholar, said, “There is a

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Triennale Milano, Fondation Cartier Postpone Exhibit in Milan

ART CANCELLATION: An exhibit curated by Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca at the Triennale Milano in Italy, and sponsored by the Fondation Cartier has been postponed from April 9 to later this year, adding to the growing list of event cancellations piling up around the globe as governments rush to curb the spread of coronavirus. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late Wednesday ordered the closure of nonessential commercial activities throughout the country until April 3. “In view of the current station regarding the spread of the COVID-19, the Fondation Cartier and the Triennale Milano have decided to postpone the exhibition Les Citoyens,” said the foundation in an e-mailed statement. The two institutions had teamed to present exhibits and life performances that were slated to start in April in the Triennale’s Palazzo dell’Arte, which was built in the Thirties by Giovanni Muzio and is located in Milan. Two to three exhibits are planned each year, over the eight-year partnership, which kicks off this year.

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