Willy Chavarria decided to commit his talent and skill set to amplify human dignity, to raise the underrepresented through art and design. He studied graphic design at the Academy of the Arts and eventually found his home in the creation of fashion. There is a sensitive and cinematic approach to the Willy Chavarria collections. His concept blends the emotion of art and modern politics into a reactionary story of the human will. WILLY aims to uplift and inspire through design, to be a voice for the voiceless, often partnering with organizations to promote social justice. Born in rural California, inspiration is taken from both biographical elements of Mr. Chavarria’s life, often infusing nods to his Mexican-American heritage, and also from the beauty he sees in the streets and culture around him.
The brand began to receive attention after creating controversial and poignant runway presentations. World renowned stores have since carried the label, such as Barneys, Dover Street Market, Bergdorf Goodman's, and Browns. Mr. Chavarria was named a finalist for the 2018 International Woolmark Prize, and in 2021, he was one of ten winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. IMG and the state of New York announced him as one of ten recipients of a small business grant in 2022. That same year, Mr. Chavarria won the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award in Fashion Design and was named a finalist for the American Menswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA.