“I don’t design clothes for the Queen; but for the people who wave at her as she goes by,” said fashion designer Willi Smith, who got many of his best ideas from New York City’s street life. His label, WilliWear, was the first streetwear brand, and his clothes, which came out in the late 1970s, were modern, comfortable, and expressive — think oversized blazers and trousers that all body types could wear, chunky knits, and fabrics sourced from all around the world. (One of his most popular pieces was a one-size-fits-all cargo pant with adjustable waistband.) Smith often sold patterns of his designs, too, so that people could make his clothes at home. So, in the early 80s, when he wanted to open his own showroom, he told James Wines, founder of the architecture and environmental arts studio SITE, to make it “as far from Ralph Lauren as possible.” Smith took Wines to his favorite haunts on the west side — the Christopher St. pier and nightclubs nearby — and while they walked around the area, he pointed out all the materials and textures that he liked. Wines thought: Let’s do the street.