How Did This Avante Garde Porsche Enthusiast Get His Own Nike Deal?
Not to mention his own coloring book
Whether you’re at a car show, a racetrack, or a dealership, you’re likely to hear whispers about “Porsche people.”
“Porsche people” are among the most passionate car enthusiasts and drivers, known for their sprawling collections and boundless devotion to the brand. The Porsche Club of America is the largest club of its kind anywhere in the world, so vast that it’s divided into 145 regions across the U.S. and Canada. With that kind of confidence, it’s no wonder that these iconic German driving machines have gained more than a few eccentric fans, none more so than Magnus Walker.
Walker, the California Porsche collector and self-professed “Urban Outlaw,” has had a big year: he recently released a coloring book featuring illustrations of his cars, and announced a Nike shoe deal with pro skater Ishod Wair, putting the auto enthusiast on track to cross over from niche figure to cult icon. So, what is it about Magnus Walker that has captured the attention of so many fans and business partners? It’s the Porsche collection for sure – but also the attitude.
Walker, 54, was born in the U.K. but didn’t stay long. He moved to Los Angeles as a teenager, and began selling secondhand clothes on the Venice Beach boardwalk. Serious Clothing, the fashion line that followed, enjoyed a cult popularity in the ‘90s that eventually waned. But Walker, who had first fallen in love with the Porsche 911 during his childhood, was already eager to shift focus from fashion to cars. The clothing line was eventually sold, and Walker turned his keen sense of style and design towards the Porsche 911s he had begun to collect and customize.
Walker’s collection of Porsche 911s is housed in downtown Los Angeles, where the contents of his warehouse reach a value of roughly $7.5 million. Walker works with a small team to create distinctively styled Porsches that evoke the brand’s success on the racetrack (racing stripes, numbers, lean bodies with the edges taken off) while also incorporating the outlaw spirit that made Walker famous (contrasting colors, handmade accessories, wild interior prints). Even the traditionalists at Porsche have noted the artistry at work here.
It would be comfortable for someone like Walker to remain firmly planted in the world of custom cars, given the prestige of his collection, but the former designer chose to branch out. In 2012, he was featured in the short film “Urban Outlaw,” which chronicled his passion for Porsche, and a memoir of the same name followed in 2017. In some ways, Walker’s talent for customizing 911s is only a small piece of the puzzle, with brand-building and self-mythologizing creating the vast majority of his appeal.
So why not do another book, this time one of the whimsical, coloring variety? Why not partner with Nike, and produce a shoe that makes a sly connection between skateboarding and automobiles? Perhaps another foray into the world of film or television is on its way as well. But no matter where he heads next, Magnus Walker is most likely getting there in a Porsche 911.