Oh, to time travel back to this day in 1971! I’m totally grooving on this ad for a three-designer in-store appearance and informal fashion show on this day in 1971 at Franklin Simon, an old Manhattan department store that closed its doors in 1979. On this Monday afternoon from noon to 2 p.m., the store was hosting fashion designers Betsey Johnson, Willi Smith and Getty Miller, the latter of whom I can barely find a drop of information about, for an informal fashion show and meet-and-greet with these “really socko” designers. “We urge you,” the text reads. “These people are the ones who are leading the way—influencing the directions that life is now taking.”
Well, they were right about Betsey, and Willi was on top of his game when his life ended far too early from AIDS in 1987. As for Getty, I have no idea where she went or what happened to her, but it looks like she was a fairly prolific Seventh Avenue designer from 1965 to the early 80s, opened Getty Miller Sweatshop, a boutique in the Hamptons in 1980, and went on to teach classes at Parsons School of Design. All I know is I’d kill for a chance for those $15 Willi Smith hotpants and safari jacket.
These Seventh Avenue designer in-store appearances seemed to be a fairly regular event in the 1960s and 70s, and hoards of people would show up to meet Betsey. Look in any old newspaper from this era and you’ll find a number of ads offering the opportunity to meet any one of the youthquake designers. Like I said: Oh, to time travel!