Gucci Podcast

Bethann Hardison and Kim Hastreiter discuss designer Willi Smith’s life in New York in the 80s.


‘Willi Smith: Street Couture’ is the first exhibit dedicated to American designer Willi Smith (1948–1987) held at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. The exhibit of more than 200 pieces highlights how the designer and co-founder of iconic brand WilliWear broke down social, cultural, and economic boundaries.

In this episode, two of Willi Smith’s friends, Bethann Hardison and Kim Hastreiter join William Ndatira to reflect on Willi Smith’s life, career and spirit.

Bethann Hardison, member of the Gucci Global Equity Board and of the Gucci’s Global Corporate Executive Committee, is a model and activist and met Willi Smith when she was just starting out in New York working in the garment business. Journalist, editor and publisher Kim Hastreiter grew up in New Jersey and moved to New York to become an artist. She switched paths to become a journalist and in founded Paper Magazine in 1984, Willi Smith was her downstairs neighbor.

Listen as these long-time friends reflect on fond memories of Willi Smith and look back on the fashion scene in New York in the 80s.

As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums are temporarily closed. In the meanwhile, you can discover more about Willi Smith on:



by Gucci