At BET, we’re privileged to have a good time our Blackness daily. In honor of Black Historical past Month, we’re pulling out additional confetti as we profile among the most influential Black individuals within the style and wonder industries—particularly if their accomplishments and contributions are ignored by mainstream society. Cheers to our icons!

As a girl who by no means noticed herself being a style legend, April Walker has made main strides within the multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Actually, her signature streetwear clothes resulted in a particularly profitable legacy that also performs a serious position in hip hop tradition in the present day. 

In response to Walker, she might have by no means imagined the affect she’d have on city style. “I didn’t develop up figuring out that I’d pursue style, although once I look again on it, I used to save lots of my style hangtags to make wall collages with them,” she tells BET Type completely. Reminiscing on her youth, she humbly affords, “I additionally received finest wearing highschool and cherished the artwork of ‘getting fly.’

For a lady, who single-handedly modified the best way celebrities categorical themselves on the purple carpet, Walker is humble. If you happen to’re not acquainted with her model, Walker Wear, it solely takes a fast Google search to search out among the hottest rappers like Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, and Jay-Z sporting her custom-made appears to be like in pictures and video shoots. 

EVENING IN HONOUR OF MICKEY ROURKE AT NELLO'S (Photo by Lawrence Schwartzwald/Sygma via Getty Images)

(Picture: Lawrence Schwartzwald/Sygma through Getty Photos)

As we reminisced over the previous like a therapeutic jam session, it turned all clear: Walker Put on began with Walker’s love for hip hop. “I grew up in love with music.” She concluded she needed to be concerned on the earth of hip hop the second she heard the beat drop, and it was a no brainer simply the route she wanted to take—style. “When hip hop music got here on the scene, I had a pure affinity for it,” she explains. “Vogue is such a type of self-expression like music, however we didn’t have many alternate options outdoors of Dapper Dan and some others that have been beginning out, so I made a decision to create.”

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In 1987, the bold designer began her first atelier store, Vogue In Impact. “There was a necessity for this style life-style that existed. I knew my tribe was there, however we weren’t being serviced,” she tells us. “I knew that this was my ardour as a result of I went all in from the start. It was the one factor that may get me up early within the morning and the one factor that may preserve me going to mattress late at night time with out criticism. I cherished it.”

After constructing a workforce, Vogue In Impact would make it a degree to hearken to the repeated requests of their prospects. Some requests being: baggier pants, deeper pockets, and bottoms tailor-made to their Timbs. “All of those confirmations gave us the gumption to begin a clothes line,” she explains.

In response to Walker, the model was acquired properly but it surely wasn’t in a single day. “There have been a variety of steps that have been taken to construct the momentum,” she says. “Keep in mind, that is earlier than the web and earlier than cell telephones. So actually, constructing a model was by trial, error, phrase of mouth, credibility, and a variety of hustle.”

FYI: The hustle was actual. Walker created her-story as the primary lady to dominate the streetwear style recreation. She additionally turned a trailblazer that opened the doorways for girls in distribution, whereas commanding thousands and thousands in gross sales.

Regardless of all of the success achieved within the style business, there have been loads of trials forward for the New Yorker. “I entered the style business filled with elitism and hierarchy,” she explains. “I used to be trailblazing on this new lane with a deal with hip hop, which was largely catered to males (menswear). That was a problem.”

She continues, “Being a girl in a person’s world wasn’t straightforward. Discovering funding for a brand new class that didn’t but exist wasn’t straightforward, however nonetheless, we discovered a strategy to push by. I credit score my workforce for lots of the pushing by. The proper workforce will enable you to create and carve the dream.” 

In response to Walker, advantages for girls within the style business now exist. “There may be completely different power proper now for girls proudly owning their superpowers unapologetically,” she shares. “It’s a good time to be an entrepreneur and Black ladies are one of many driving forces of entrepreneurship.”

Not too long ago, Walker launched The Walker Put on RAW Collection as a collaborative marketing campaign to share human tales and promote sustainability by visible content material, storytelling, and significant conversations. Every designer was chosen as a result of Walker genuinely turned followers of their work. 

RELATED | INTERVIEW: Alexander-John Designs Glow-In-The-Dark Sneakers So Women Can Finally Be ‘Seen’

This month, for Black Historical past Month, the collection began by highlighting Black American style stylists and costume wardrobe designers all dipped in Walker Put on’s RAW denim or different types. The marketing campaign collection has been launched throughout social media platforms.

Domo (@styledxdomo)

Domo (@styledxdomo)

(Picture Courtesy of Walker Put on | Artistic Director/Photographer: DOMO | Photographer Dani B: @dvn1b)

“This undertaking means lots to me as a result of it’s highlighting Black stylists, who’re so filled with expertise and time, nonetheless, aren’t afforded the identical alternatives or press, like different ethnicities” she shares. “We now have to be that change and have a good time one another. My hope is to foster contagious conduct and present how lateral cooperation creates vertical motion. It’s additionally necessary to begin addressing how we are able to make adjustments within the style business to be much less wasteful, extra accountable, and environmentally-friendly. We wish our planet to thrive sooner or later.”

Walker has additionally relaunched the Walker Put on model to bridge the hole of generations and reignite her love for creation and design. “It provides me an opportunity to find how younger individuals assume by collaborating and dealing with them. In a way, it retains me and my thoughts agile, not inflexible, and that’s factor,” she playfully provides.

As a residing legend, she is going to proceed to maneuver ahead with servant management, by mentoring and sharing gems from her e book, Walkergems, Get Your A$% Off The Couch. She can be conducting on-line courses in a BYOB (Be Your Personal Model) course for high-school college students who need to create and manifest their very own desires. “Collectively is best,” she declares.

**Editor’s Observe: The interview has been edited and condensed for readability. 

(Picture: Courtesy of April Walker)

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