The Sacagawea of urban fashion
April Walker, a true pioneer in the fashion scene and savvy business woman, has inspired a streetwear fashion lifestyle category that commands billions annually. As a designer, Walker spawned the company “Walker Wear” in the early ‘90’s. One of the first to identify the value of product placement, with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Tupac, BIG, and even Beavis and Butt-Head, her brand changed the game. Offering a mesh of fashion and function, muted and earth tone colors, with durable fabrics, baggy fits, low pockets, these designs helped to catapult April Walker as a trailblazing phenomena in the industry. Recently, there has been a resurgence of Walker Wear in fashion.
Born in L.A., Walker claimed Brooklyn early on. Her entrepreneurial senses kicked in from the time she was 13 years of age, when she started teaching gymnastics, selling t-shirts and clothing, propelling her to become an entrepreneur. Walker opened her first custom fashion shop, “Fashion In Effect” at the age of 19. She was personally chosen by MC Lyte, Shaggy, Audio Two, and Shinehead to make custom outfits for their circuit. As the creative force and stylist behind these concepts, she took her business acumen and skills, launching a styling division that was responsible for numerous images, working with artists such as RUN-DMC, EPMD, Queen Latifah, TUPAC, Aliyah, R-Kelly, Naughty By Nature, Shaquille O’neal, Snoop, to name a few. Some of her creative marketing collaborators and clients have included UNIVERSAL, MOTOWN, Priority Records, Flavor Unit, ECKO, Champion, and Russell Athletics. Her impact in fashion and her passion for animals inspired April to integrate her designer aesthetic in a creative spin on the pet supply shopping experience with a unique boutique designed especially for the owner that wanted nothing but the best for their pets. The Walker Pet Shop served the Fort Greene community, exhibiting what pet owners wanted and needed most. From this experience, other branches were created such as a petsitting business for Brooklyn and an all natural pet food & treat co. called “Papa Jacks”.
In a philanthropic effort, April Walker founded Fort Greene Fashion Group, a non-profit in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. FGFG was established in ’03, in partnership with the Business Outreach Center Network, with the goal of fueling the spirit of entrepreneurship within independent fashion designers. “By nurturing innovative talent, offering business development resources, and providing a networking forum, our fashion entrepreneurs are one step closer to realizing their dreams”.
Presently, Walker spends most of her time managing her “Walker Wear” fashion brand and supervising “A. Walker Group” a credit card consulting company founded in 2006. Walkers’ influence in fashion is reflected in her consulting; her roster has included fashion clients from NYC to Miami to the UK. Most recently, she has been appointed as a Special Advisor for the Special Measures in Fashion.