Willy van Rooy is an often over looked but very big model of the 60's and 70's. She started her career in 1967 after making the move from her native Holland to London. Just 21, she arrived fresh from finishing her courses at the Academy of Fine Arts Fashion Department with a suitcase full of her own designs hoping to conquer the "Swinging City". With a little bit of modeling experience in Holland she was able to be referred to Vogue where she was introduced to photographer Helmut Newton. This meeting not only gave her a new life long friendship, it opened the door to her becoming a next top model. Soon she was working with all the best names in the industry, traveling, and earning a great deal of money. She even was contacted by a display doll firm to make a mannequin of her, which offered a very nice contract and a lot of publicity.
Around this time she met her husband, artist Salvador Maron, and slowed down with the modeling. They had one child and travelled and lived together in the States, settling in New York City for '68 and '69. Here Willy began focusing more on her clothing design again and was making amazing leather pieces that were selling in small boutiques. In 1970 the family moved to Ibiza enjoying a care-free hippie/artist life. While her husband was painting, Willy continued making clothes and also branched out into shoes, getting a local cobbler to carry out her ideas. The family continued to live a nomadic life spending time living in Paris, India, and Milan. Willy eventually was lured back into modeling booking jobs with Yves St. Laurent, Thierry Mugler, and Claude Montana in the mid-70's. By the 1980's she felt the need to to return to her design roots and started making clothing, then shoes, and eventually handmade beads and jewelry. Today Willy has a successful shoe collection and is still making handmade jewelry. In August of 2008 she made a triumphant return to modeling appearing in the Yves St. Laurent tribute issue of Italian Vogue.
WILLY & HER DOLL