It’s about 5pm London time and about 9am in Los Angeles. Danny Walker is on the busy streets of London, so it took us a minute to get a solid connection via FaceTime. Once we get to talking I quickly learn he is a 22-year old stylist from West London with goals of expanding his clothing brand The Uncommon Pupil. Growing up he admired the style of many Hip Hop artists, and two in particular he mentions is Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. His admiration for menswear carried through to his university years where he studied fashion promotion and imaging at the University for Creative Arts in Epsom.
At the age of 18, he started styling his friends and photographing them. As his journey in the styling world continued, he collaborated with photographers and was fortunate to be mentored by other well known stylists in London. Walker’s networking soon landed him a position assisting U.K. stylist Neesha Sharma better known by her Instagram handle name Neesha Badass who has styled the likes of Sean Paul and Skepta.
In addition to his styling gigs, Walker is also an Editorial Assistant at Pause Magazine. Being a busy twenty-something year old I was pleased when he agreed to chat with me a bit about his most recent shoot with U.K. photographer Jonny Kaye.
WHAT WAS THE CONCEPT FOR THE SHOOT?
The idea for it was meant to be two models originally and one of the models dropped out on the day, which changed the whole concept of the shoot. I was going to match the two models together; well not match them as in identity, but just so to be coordinated. I was going to take mainstream streetwear pieces like bomber jackets and then dress them up with feminine accessories like fishnet tights, skirts, vest tops, etc. With the one model that did show up it then it kinda became more grunge inspired overall from that-so I’d say that concept was kind of like a feminine kind of look on grunge. Because I don’t think there is kind of like a portrayal of that specifically with women. So kind of translating that style to female.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS GOING INTO EACH SHOOT?
Start off with a mood board. So literally, I have a Tumblr page where I just gather images, so my first process would be to go on that. If I have an initial idea [I] just look at that and see what pictures kind of resonate with that idea. Then, I have a bunch of images, then eventually those images would be cut down and then I’d make a mood board of the main idea from those pictures. So then I can kind of see what traits from those pictures have together- if it’s like oh a specific color of denim or something like that. So that’s kind of the beginning of the process.
WHILE PLANNING, DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC? OR ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY CERTAIN THINGS WHEN YOU’RE PLANNING FOR A SHOOT?
I can see something like maybe like when a music video came out [and I think] wow that one piece of fabric was cool. And then kind of from that you can think, oh I like how they’ve got it, but I would have done it like this. So there you’ve already got two ideas that can work together, and then you can kind of think, oh there is another way you can do it. So things like that definitely come into play.
Walker mentioned there was a specific plan going into this shoot, however, things changed last minute for him, his assistant Eulonge Zola and photographer Kaye. Despite it all he remains optimistic when plans change stating, “something might happen by accident, and you might think wow that was a blessing in disguise.”
When I asked what his end goal is for his career, he said “I love styling and I think it’s something I’ll always do, but I want to expand my [clothing] brand The Uncommon Pupil. So I want to expand more on that and use styling as a basis for that.” Although his merch isn’t yet on sale, his family and friends are the lucky few who get to wear his custom designs.
This London native has a hustle that is both inspiring and contagious. He spoke about his triumphs as effortlessly as one talks about what the weather. It is safe to say there is more to see and learn about Danny Walker, and we’re here for it!
photographer JONNY KAYE
stylist DANIEL WALKER
makeup artist TOM FRASER
stylist’s assistant EULONGE ZOLA
model LINE MADVIG AT FIRST MODEL MANAGEMENT
words ROXELANA TRINIDAD