Andre Walker is a New York classic—the kind of person who is anywhere anything cool is happening. The Ditmas Park-born fashion designer was a star of New York’s downtown fashion seen in the ’80s and ’90s—his wry collections included styles with names like “Boring wrap dress”—and has been a longtime friend and onetime consultant to Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones. Pre-pandemic, he was a familiar presence at art fairs and galleries, in his tank top with his drawstring knapsack on his back. I’d never seen someone look at art the way he does: leaning and bobbing before a canvas, like each piece might be three dimensional. Like each painting might be hiding something.
If designers often point dilettantishly to the same slate of obvious references, Walker is of the rare breed that works like a sponge. He is a mover but not a shaker, endlessly eager to wring out some