Originally published on The Industry Cosign September 22, 2015
Title: Chief Dream Officer at A. Walker Group, A Creative Consulting and Branding Company
April Walker is a true pioneer and savvy businesswoman who inspired a streetwear fashion lifestyle category that has commanded billions annually. Walker founded the company “Walker Wear” in the early ‘90’s. One of the first to identify and implement product placement with celebrity endorsements from Tupac, Notorious BIG, and even Beavis and Butt-Head, her brand changed the game. Walker Wear was one of the first in urban/streetwear fashion to open doors for department and chain stores. Offering a mesh of fashion and function, these designs helped to catapult Walker as a trailblazing phenomenon in the industry. With the resurgence of the fashion brand, Walker has been featured on Complex, New York Times, Wax Poetics, CNN’s “Fresh Dressed”, the Brooklyn Museum’s Sneaker Exhibit, on the American Express Forum, on the Combat Jack Show, Arise TV and Complex.
The Brooklyn natives’ entrepreneurial senses kicked in as a young teenager when she started teaching gymnastics, selling t-shirts, fostering her entrepreneurial spirit. Walker opened her first custom fashion shop, “Fashion In Effect” at the age of 19 and made custom outfits for Shaggy, Audio Two, and BIG. As the stylist behind these concepts, she took her business acumen and launched a styling division that was responsible for numerous images and countless videos including RUNDMC, Snoop Dogg, EPMD, Queen Latifah, Tupac, Fishbone, Aliyah, R-Kelly, Naughty By Nature, Shaquille O’neal, to name a few. Walker’s fashion has also been featured in iconic films like “Higher Learning”, “Don’t Be A Menace”, Above The Rim” and the highly anticipated “Straight Outta Compton”. For NBA All-Star this year, the brand collaborated with Starter. Also, Walker’s consulted with Universal, Motown, Priority Records, ECKO, Champion, and Russell Athletics. Wearing a different hat, Walker worked under the direction of Russell Simmons, as the SVP for Phat Farm, managing licensees. She’s founded a women’s brand called Dimes, and created a women’s division for the sports brand “And-1”.
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 fashion designers.
Presently, Walker spends most of her time managing “Walker Wear” and supervising “A. Walker Group” a creative consulting company she founded in 2006. Walkers’ influence in fashion is reflected in her consulting; her roster includes clients from NYC to Miami to the UK, and creative projects that range from consumer packaged goods for Major League Baseball, to licensing for the U.K brand, Money Clothing, and acting as design director for Dreamworks’ iconic host of characters such as Richie Rich, Magoo, Purebred, and more. April 22, 2015 marked the twenty-five year anniversary of Walker Wear and Walker notes “I’m just getting started”.
‘Designer April Walker is urban fashion’s first leading lady. One of a handful of trailblazers to bring flavor of the streets to Middle America in the late 80s/ early 90s, Walker helped create the specifications synonymous with urban design. Walker Wear was the brand to rock if you were part of the hip-hop
generation. Details such as oversized cuts, an extended crotch area and stash pockets made her signature and rugged denim suits a must-have from the average urbanite to celebrities alike.’
Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Author of “Free Stylin’: How Hip-Hop Changed the Fashion Industry”
‘April Walker is and will forever be the First Lady of Urban Fashion. Through Walker Wear and other ventures April has proven over the years to not only have a keen since of fashion but also the highest level of business savvy.’
Co Founder of The Collection, President of Seraphin Cognac.
‘I have had the pleasure of knowing April for over fifteen years. April is insightful, creatively gifted and a focused visionary. She is very well respected in the fashion industry. Her commitment shines through in her close and constant communications with the client. I always look forward to working with her because I’m certain the process will be smooth, without hassel and entirely professional. I strongly recommend April as a professional with exceptional knowledge of Brand Building, Licensing, Marketing.’
Sr. Vice President of Management at Rush Communications/Simmons Design Group
Instagram: @iamaprilwalker #walkergems @WalkerWear