When thinking of who shaped 90s fashion culture, you immediately think of J. Alexander Martin and April Walker. Saturday, these legendary fashion figures sat down at Essence Fashion House to explain their individual roles in shaping Black fashion culture in the 90s, which later led the streetwear movement.
In case you didn’t know, Walker is the creator of Walker Wear and owner of the famed Fashion in Effect boutique. Her background includes styling such notable 90s artists such as Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G, Aaliyah and Queen Latifah.
Martin is one of the acclaimed co-founders of Black-owned fashion brand, FUBU. He’s since branched out to create his own clothing label as well as write a book, Making Makes Me Crazy, which is all about empowering people to become financially stable.
These two sat down and reminisced on some of their fondest memories from their favorite era as well as describing some of the struggles it took to create a successful business.
However, they both agreed what brings them the most joy is seeing the seeds they planted years ago paved the way for future generations.
The pair closed the panel closed with a call to action, asking people to start shopping Black more and to hold Black designers with the same allure as mainstream designers.
Essence Festival continues through Sunday.