Adventures in Kekeland: Walker Wear's Brooklyn Pop-Up Shop
There is a very short list of people with the ability to get me to travel to Brooklyn. There’s a shorter list of those capable of getting me to do so on a weekend. April Walker is at the top of the latter. This weekend the legendary designer and (arguably more important) phenomenal human invited me to come check out her pop-up shop.
I made my way to the borough a full four hours before I needed to leave knowing that the C train is as the kids say “sus” on a Sunday. After a few hours of transfers, and train delays, I landed at the private location to check out the latest from Walker Wear.
The pop up shop feature tailored shirts, logo bearing hats, and the fly loungewear that made the brand famous. A big seller was also Walker’s book “Walker Gems: Get Your Ass Off The Couch” a personal development book geared towards a generation who have traded in cover letters for DMs.
In the middle of the room sat fabric shears and a vintage Singer sewing machine reminding attendees what sets Walker apart from fast fashion.
My “soup nazi” tee lead me to a great conversation with the co-founder of Trippy Pins. He was wearing a really cool medallion from the brand.
I also got to meet a few of Walker’s long time friends and fellow BK natives who showed up to support her. One of her friends repped the home team in this Brooklyn Vs. Everybody cap.
She paired it with this adorable necklace repping her personal brand.
Another sported impeccably appliced MAC lip liner in “Spice” and a bright smile.
Walker herself rocked a new haircut.
Starting out as just apparel Walkerwear has become a boutique lifestyle brand with even teddybears rocking it’s signature style.
I completely abandoned the shirt I wanted when I saw one sporting the names of victims of victims of police brutality.
I was thinking about all the places I would wear it to make liberal racists slightly uncomfortable when I spotted it.
Staring at me was a drawing of a beautiful young woman with a fro rocking a defiant expression with her WalkerWear shirt and hoop earrings. I didn’t know who drew it. I didn't know what it cost. I just knew it had it had to be mine.
The image represented the new phase of Walker Wear and the culture it emanated from. It was resilient, it was self-aware, it was unvarnished and it was beautiful. The relaunch of the brand is right on time in an era where hip-hop is going green, considering its contradictions, and making room for new interpretations of female roles.
After explaining to me that it wasn’t for sale and hearing me express how much I needed it the designer removed it from the wall and gave it to me. When I returned to Jersey I headed straight to Michaels to get a frame for my new prize hanging it beneath a Pardon My Fro print. Smiling at how nicely it contrasted with my mint green walls I thought about all the joy black women, have brought to my life, in and out of frames and how much good could come from a two hour train ride.