Magnus Walker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Magnus Walker
Magnus Walker.jpg
Walker in 2019
Born (1967-07-07) July 7, 1967 (age 54)
Sheffield, England
OccupationFashion designer, car collector, car builder
Years active2013–present
Spouse(s)Karen Caid Walker (deceased 2015)
Partner(s)Hannah Elliott
ChildrenNone

Magnus Walker (born July 7, 1967)[1] is a British former fashion designer and car collector. He emigrated to the United States in 1986 at the age of nineteen and eventually established a clothing brand, called Serious, with his late wife, Karen Caid Walker. Having been fascinated with Porsche since childhood, Walker started collecting and customizing vintage Porsches, mostly the air-cooled 911 model. After the documentary Urban Outlaw about his life, Walker became one of the world's most visible faces of the Porsche and car collecting scene. He has since been featured in a multitude of media, such as The Joe Rogan Experience (2015), and Jay Leno's Garage (2017), and the 2015 video game Need for Speed.

In 2014, Walker completed a Tedx Talk called "Go With Your Gut[2]," which has since seen more than 8.8 million views. Walker has more than 25 Hot Wheels cars in his signature line, including multiple variations on his signature "277" race car. He was the first personality who was not a professional race-car driver to have his own line of signature MOMO steering wheels.[3] His memoir, Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don't Slow You Down,[4] reached the U.K. best-seller list[5] in the automotive category.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born in 1967 to middle-class parents.[6] Growing up in Sheffield, England, Walker's fascination with the Porsche brand sparked when his father took him to the 1977 Earl's Court Motor Show as a 10 year old, where he saw the Porsche 911 for the first time. After that, he wrote Porsche a letter, asking for a job. Porsche actually replied and encouraged him to apply for a job when he had finished school. However, in 1982, Magnus had dropped out of school, got involved with the punk rock and heavy metal scenes, and bounced around places and jobs. Seeing no perspectives for the future in Britain, he decided to follow the American Dream and try his luck in the US. He got accepted as an instructor at a summer camp north of Detroit in 1986. He traveled to Los Angeles soon after the camp was over.[6][7][8][citation needed]

Fashion career[edit]

Shortly after his arrival in Los Angeles, Walker stumbled into fashion. When he was a little boy, his mother Linda had taught him how to sew,[9] and having re-sewn a pair of $10 pants to make them fit, they were noticed by Taime Downe of the band Faster Pussycat. Walker sold Downe eight pairs of his customized pants for $25 each and soon after established a stall on Venice Beach, where he would sell customized clothing he revamped from inexpensive clothes he bought at flea markets or second-hand stores. As the market stall was taking off he created a clothing company called Serious. Simultaneously to launching it, he met Karen Caid, who went by the name Hoochie, a designer he had run into at trade shows. Hoochie decided to ditch her own name line, Hoochie Clothing, and teamed up with Walker. She applied her flamboyant design talents to Walker's ability to choose fabrics and together they made the brand a success. After opening a store on Melrose Avenue in LA[9] the clothing garnered a following and was worn by the likes of Madonna, Alice Cooper, and Bruce Willis.[7][8][6] To accommodate their company's growth, which was now being sold by many retailers, the pair bought a run-down factory building in the Arts District of Los Angeles. The building was used for fabrication of Serious clothing but soon became host to many TV shows, commercials, and feature films that were shot there as a popular film location. Bruce Willis, Victoria Beckham, Jay-Z and Prince, among others, have filmed adverts, films or music videos on his company grounds.[8][6] After about 15 years of manufacturing clothes, sales of Serious clothing began to dwindle, and Walker and his wife no longer felt connected to the scene, so they closed their business.[10] On June 1, 2017, Walker's book autobiography Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don't Slow You Down, was published.

Urban Outlaw Film[edit]

In 2012 Walker was approached by Canadian filmmaker Tamir Moscovici, who had a concept for a documentary film. The resulting short film, Urban Outlaw, was premiered at the 2012 Raindance Film Festival and turned Walker into a public phenomenon for the custom car scene. Subsequently, he was featured in multiple automobile magazines and invited to events. Walker displayed his cars at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Porsche executives visited the car at the time; spokesman for the company Nick Twork was quoted as saying "“We can't go as far as to say we endorse his work. That's pretty hard for a company like ours to say, but his cars have a unique style, and we have taken notice.”[11]

Car collection[edit]

With his and his wife's fashion business soaring, Walker was finally able to fulfill his childhood dream of buying a Porsche when he bought a 1974 Porsche 911 in 1992. He started to collect more cars and joined the Porsche Club of America in 2002. He started participating in race events[citation needed] and focused his efforts on completing his collection of vintage 911s.[7] Having a background in fashion design, he did not conform to the unwritten rules of vintage car restoration and strived to turn every car he owned into a unique piece of art without compromising its Porsche roots.[7]

Walker's newfound fame led to Porsche, 35 years after he wrote a letter of application as a child, to reach out to him[citation needed]. He appeared in several other documentaries, such as I am Steve McQueen (2014) and Motor City Outlaw (2016) and TV shows, such as How I Rock It (2013), The Joe Rogan Experience (2015), and Jay Leno's Garage (2017), mostly centering on his role as a Porsche collector and customizer. In 2015, he was featured in the video game Need for Speed, as one of the icons the player character and his crew seek to impress.

On June 25th 2021,[12] Nike collaborated with Walker on a Nike SB Dunk High modeled after arguably the most famous of his cars, a 1971 Porsche 911 T nicknamed the "277".[13] The sneaker includes several references to both the Porsche itself (277 branding on the outer heel and insole, color blocking similar to the car's design, and a "wear away" design that reveals a gold finish under a white top layer of paint, etc.), as well as nods to Magnus' legacy, such as the red and green flannel sock liner, a reference to Walker's "Urban Outlaw" brand on the outer midfoot panel, as well "Union Jack" detailing on the tongue tag with Nike SB branding on the outer side of the midsole in the traditional Porsche font.

Personal life[edit]

Walker was married to his wife, Karen, for 21 years. She died in 2015.

Filmography[edit]

Documentaries[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Urban Outlaw Himself
2014 I am Steve McQueen Himself
2016 Motor City Outlaws Himself

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 How I Rock It Himself 1 episode ("John Varvatos, Magnus Walker, Rob Zabrecky, Marcus Samuelsson")
2015 The Joe Rogan Experience Himself 1 episode ("Magnus Walker and Alex Ross")
2017 Jay Leno's Garage Himself 1 episode ("Hand Made")

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Need for Speed Himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knapman, Chris (20 June 2017). "Magnus Walker: The Urban Outlaw interviewed". Goodwood. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDQrMoksJ4Q. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "MOMO with Magnus Walker". 14 October 2015.
  4. ^ Walker, Magnus; Roach, Martin (2017). Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don't Slow You Down. ISBN 978-0593077849.
  5. ^ Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don't Slow You Down.
  6. ^ a b c d Knapman, Chris (27 July 2017). "Magnus Walker: chatting to the world's coolest Porsche collector". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Riccioni, Marc (1 April 2015). "Who is Magnus Walker?". Top Gear. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b c John, Caroline (3 August 2017). "Magnus Walker Wiki: Age, Net Worth, Wife, Clothing, & Facts to Know". Earn the Necklace. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. ^ a b LA Times 1997, 25 December 1997
  10. ^ Bloomberg, Jonathan (2 August 2017). "Magnus Walker has 25 Porsches that could be worth $7.5 million, but he's not selling". CNBC. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  11. ^ LA Times 2013, 16 February 2013
  12. ^ "Magnus Walker, Nike SB's Unlikely Collaborator, Explains His Sneakers".
  13. ^ ""Some Cars Go, and Others Stay" – Magnus Walker's 1971 Porsche 911 "277"".

External links[edit]