WILLIE NORRIS is the founder of WILLIENORRISWORKSHOP.
Working under the manifesto of “QUEER ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS A MEANS OF DEFENSE,” Norris aims to celebrate, honor, and indulge queer identity by prioritizing the collective capital of LGBTQ+ people, rather than the external forces that seek to capitalize on them. Norris views queerness, in the words of L.A. Kauffman, as “more of a posture of opposition than a simple statement about sexuality,” and is constantly interested in de-centering static and stable conceptions of business structures, particularly how queer principles can exist at the core of a business operating within the apparel industry.
Norris has recently collaborated with HELMUT LANG, MOMA PS1 and PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER NEW YORK.
In June 2019, Norris debuted COLLECTION 1 at La Mama Galleria in NoHo, Manhattan, which acted as an ambitious blueprint for his label to come: a composite of elevated but wearable staples produced locally using deadstock fabric and designed with LGBTQ+ consumers in mind. Attended by an impassioned queer community, the models featured included Brooklyn nightlife mainstays Charlene Incarnate and West Dakota, as well as rising-star Aaron Philip closing the show in her runway debut.
Outside of WILLIENORRISWORKSHOP, Mr.Norris is also an accomplished apparel designer, having worked in the design studios of ISAAC MIZRAHI, MARIA CORNEJO and SUSAN CIANCIOLO, and is currently design director for Brooklyn-based menswear brand Outlier.