AND RE WALKER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY HANNAH STARKEY
STYLING BY ALESSANDRA CONTI
WORDS BY LYNA AHANDA
The teenage fashion prodigy, publisher of cult magazine Tiwimuya, has always been a force to recon with in the industry.
After working as a consultant for Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones, Andre Walker finally launched his And Re Walker line which is exclusively sold at Dover Street Market. After over 30 years in the industry, the Brooklyn based designer made a “rebirth” comeback four seasons ago and is now here to stay.
With your Re Walker line you have been presenting very standout garments. Your last collection was said to be inspired by love. What else inspires you?
Spontaneity inspires me but it takes forever to respond to such impulses. The idea can come in seconds yet, sometimes, the process can devour.
How do you feel about wearability in fashion, do you think about that aspect when developing some of your ideas or are you all about being radical?
I love being wearable, remarkable, invisible, and discreet. Radical aspects come more or less from the cultural / sensual or individual perception.
You have been working in fashion for the past four decades. Your work has always been different. Do you feel like your uniqueness made it more difficult for you to succeed?
I’ve been working in fashion for 35 years let’s be clear. Ideas are sometimes stronger than the men and I’ve often been overpowered by my passion! I feel like the most successful failure and positively otherwise. Everyday is different. I’m as organic as possible in this myriad polluted world of ours.
What do you think about fashion and the idea of provocation today? Do you feel like things are more “safe”?
Today individuality is second nature to fashion even if it is a fragile individuality or a time sensitive one.
Your clothes are now sold at Dover Street Market, the designs are unique with a lot put into details and fabric, so automatically the price point is high. Would you consider your line luxury?
My line is more often quality than luxury.
You were very active in the club scene back in the days. Do you still feel influenced by music when creating?
Music is such a lovely decoration of time (heard that somewhere, Jean-Michel Basquiat perhaps...) I used to do tap dancing at the Little Theatre Dance School and Saturday classes at Joffrey Ballet. It takes a beat, it takes a beat, it takes a beat. I live for all types of music. Grew up this way.
People say that you have that unique ability to read the spirit of the moment. Do you feel like if given the proper means you could have achieved even bigger things?
Thank God for Comme des Garçons and Kim Jones and MJ; they really empower and encourage. I would love to do a very big job and eat lots of food, drink tons of water, and be surrounded by loved ones, great and trustworthy cohorts like the above and be surrounded by the means to cooperatively evolve this vocation with the best intentions imaginable.
Do you consider yourself a black designer? Do you feel like there is still a lot of racism and ignorance in the fashion industry?
The body is universal. Racism is kind of obvious. It’s like the difference between humanity and population.