W I L L W A L T E R S
Interview & Photographs by} John Russo
Styled by} Jennifer Austin wearing John Varvatos
Grooming by} Marlon Robinson
JR: You have dedicated your life to the empowerment of the African American community. What are some things that can be done by people every day to further your vision?
WW: First, thank you for the opportunity! This is a great question. I think everyday people of all races could begin with loving each other enough to see themselves in others. This would lead to understanding and ultimately lead to a willingness from all people to participate in the improvement of any people who have been disenfranchised in the past or currently. We are in an age where individuals can communicate freely, rapidly, and globally. So connecting with each other to build bridges of understanding and togetherness vs separation, can improve upon the whole human race.
JR: How did Monarch magazine come about? Was this your brainchild?
WW: Monarch was developed back in 2003, conceptually. I approached my best friend and Co-Founder, Sylvia Crawley, with an idea to do a magazine geared towards celebrating sports figures. I thought that this concept would appeal to her, being that she played in the WNBA. To my surprise, she asked what do I really want to do? I explained my vision for a publication that would connect the roads of aspiration and inspiration – and that turned out to be Monarch.
JR: If you had to define Monarch Magazine in a short phrase what would it be and why?
WW: A publication showcasing affluent luxury lifestyle. That although it’s created by African Americans all races can pick up a copy of Monarch and become inspired by the lifestyle depicted within each issue. After all, our slogan is One Voice-One Vision-One People
JR: Talk to us about the Vanguard Nation podcast? Is this a further extension to the Monarch family of media? What kind of guests will you feature on this platform?
WW: VanGuard Nation podcast, is an extension of Monarch that brings the print interviews to life. The guests range from political features, like the recently awarded Brooklyn Mayor Eric Adams, to creatives like Shaka King, director of the movie Judas and the Black Messiah.
JR: With so many magazines folding how do you see the continued success of publishing in today’s “online” world?
WW: First, it’s a blessing that we are still here. Also let me say I am no genius, or anything like that (lol). Monarch caters to a niche audience that has very strong buying power, is highly educated and influential, and yet extremely overlooked. So, due to our commitment to servicing them, the audience is loyal, translating into a strong readership.
JR: How do you define your personal style?
WW: Refined, relaxed, and functional. Not trendy, I like to mix luxury items with everyday wear. I like to create a free-flowing, yet structured look. I guess one could say a “hippie-chic”.
JR: You chose to wear designer John Varvatos for this shoot. What is it about his designs that draw you to the brand?
WW: I have an affinity for the John Varvatos brand. I love the quality and the unstructured yet refined fit. Plus, being a fellow rocker (at least in my mind -lol) The clothing reeks of attitude, yet it’s simple, not too bright or screaming “look at me”. It’s seductive simplicity.
JR: Who is your style icon? And why?
WW: Hmmm, Gordon Parks’ Regal, Elegance. Miles Davis’ Simply Bad Ass. He Took Chances with his looks, and his clothing seems to reflect his attitudes. Tom Ford’s refined, everyday style. Steve McQueen. He looked cool and relaxed every day! Lenny Kravitz. He looks good no matter What he puts on!
JR: I hear you want to expand your platform to acting. Tell us about this new endeavor? Where do you want to take it?
WW: John told you this, lol. Acting hmmm maybe more like producing and directing, then possibly inserting myself into a few scenes here and there. I think there are some things that I can bring to the art form from a storytelling perspective.
JR: Finish this sentence for me. Will Walters has always found success in life, but I never expected that one day he would go on to…
WW: Well, Will Walters has not always found success in life, but what I did not think is that my life would become a testimony of what God can do and use me for so much more for what I had in mind.
To learn more about Will Walters follow @monarchmagazine