The first episode of Double Macchiato was recorded on March 14, 2020. It was a fleeting, ambivalent moment when two new and utterly distinct climates seemed to converge on New York, vying for our attention: the rawly miraculous one of a premature spring and the surreally terrifying one of COVID-19. The city was not quite the ghost town it would shortly become, and a breezy Saturday afternoon could still materialize a few thinned-out crowds — sans masks, gloves, and obligatorily wide berths — on the streets of Manhattan, where we recorded.
This episode is about the nature of atmosphere and Willi Smith, the trailblazing designer who has been called the inventor of streetwear.
Smith’s career was cut tragically short when he died from AIDS-related complications in 1987; in March, with the COVID-19 pandemic encroaching on New York, the first museum exhibition dedicated to his work was forced to close just a few days after opening to the public. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to discuss Smith and his work with Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, who organized the exhibition, Willi Smith: Street Couture, at the Cooper Hewitt. We are also featuring a bonus supplement of Alexandra speaking exclusively on Smith, his work, and the exhibition. And we encourage you to read more about Willi Smith and his collaborations with SITE on PIN–UP.
is a writer and Curator of Contemporary of Design at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
is the editor of PIN–UP Magazine and a cofounder of Double Macchiato.
is a designer and creative director based in New York. He is a cofounder of Double Macchiato.