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Streetwear Legend Tony Shellman Speaks On His History In Fashion

Tony Shellman, April Walker with students at NYU

Referred to as the “Sacagawea of Urban Fashion,” April Walker is a woman who has lived many lives. And as a fashion pioneer, she has certainly worn many hats. Starting with Brooklyn-based boutique Fashion In Effect in 1987 and streetwear mainstay Walker Wear in the early 1990s, Walker’s flair for creating timeless yet trendy pieces would soon make her the talk of the town. And perhaps the indisputable style queen of The Golden Era of Hip-Hop. Working with the likes of urban luminaries The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, RUN-DMC, and Aaliyah (among countless others), Walker’s presence as a Black woman working and, most importantly, thriving in a world dominated by men continues to uplift and inspire. She has recently taken on the role of educator, and she is teaching a class on it. She is now an instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Walker, and she has spent several semesters guiding up-and-coming fashion students and stylists through the tricks of the trade.

On November 2, 2021, she brought in a rather extraordinary guest and personal friend, Tony Shellman, to help her. Back in the day, there was no doubt that the Walker Wear offices were packed with stars and other prominent figures, but one, in particular, would come to stand mighty tall above the rest, and he would do so by becoming an icon of his own. The Seattle native rose through her team’s ranks and went on to become co-founder of the legendary labels ENYCE, Mecca, and Parish Nation. Tony Shellman stopped by to share some of his expertise as an alumnus of Parsons School of Design, shed light on his time at Walker Wear as a sales representative, and discuss his insights on the streetwear industry. Check out the photos above and tell us what you think of these two history-makers coming together again via our social channels!