Hey y’all! So I got to chat with a longtime friend of mines about his brand and journey so far in the fashion industry. Malcolm Miller is a 24 year old creative director from Chicago IL. He started his brand Malcolm Malik, formerly known as Covey Clothing back in 2017. Malcolm doesn't just create dope clothes, he creates beautifully crafted accessories such as purses also. Let's take a look into his brand and how he got started now!
What inspired you to get into fashion?
“What inspired me was.. I always had a passion for fashion design, dressing up, and expressing myself through my clothing.. I actually started getting into it my senior year of college. I was looking for a different avenue to express myself. I was playing football at first and that wasn’t working out for me. A lot of ups and down playing ball, I wasn’t getting along with my coaches and some teammates. I was just looked at as an outsider and a person with a bad attitude. Honestly fashion just came out the woodworks. It was something that just gravitated towards me and one day I just started brainstorming a name for my name and I just went from there.”
What were you in school for?
“I went to school for Mass Communication and I feel like it has helped me with fashion because dealing with people and interpersonal relationships. It wasn’t a passion but its something I did just to graduate.”
What inspired you to start your own line?
“Honestly, until this day I can’t pin point what actually made me start my brand or the inspiration. It was something that just happened one day I woke up and did it. When I put my mind to something I am passionate about I stick to it. March 23rd 2017 was the day I told the public about my line."
What made you change your name from Convey Clothing to Malcolm Malik
“I originally did Convey, which if you look it up it means to transmit or to send a message through something or someone. So I wanted to send a message through my brand for people to express themselves. Originally, I wanted to do Express, but you know that’s already a clothing line. So I came up with Convey which was great for a minute. When I started designing bags it became more of a luxury product and I wanted a name that resonated with that. My mom actually helped me with the name she said “why don’t you just name it after you, Malcolm Malik” which Malik is my middle name. It just went from there, its such a catchy name and I’m able to tell my story, it shows who I am. It sounds better.”
Has there ever been a point in time where you felt like giving up?
“I never had that feeling, I had feelings of doubt and you know, being uncomfortable… Overcoming that I just take a step back to think about what I’m doing. I mainly think about my ‘why.'”
What’s your favorite piece you’ve done this far?
“That’s a tough question but if I had to say.. This one bag I designed, the leather was real hard to work with so I had to redo it a lot to get it right. I love all my work though, I feel like if you don’t love everything you create then why are you doing it?”
Do you have any inspirational people that helped you get to where you are right now?
“Definitely, As far as designers I admire Pyer Moss, Sheron Barber, Joe Fresh Goods, Kendall Myles; she’s a shoe designer..”
Being a black male designer do you feel it’s harder to get into the industry?
“I would say to a certain extent.. I know an obstacle I may face one day will be me challenging society’s belief.. I’m all about controversy. So challenging the history and traditions in America. So I think me being a black male could be a controversy when discussing blackness and how vital we are to fashion.”
Has there been people that told you that you can’t do it? What made you keep going?
“I haven’t had anyone diss me directly but, I had people I considered close friends kinda like come at my whole brand and it’s just like you gotta take it for what it is. It’s always people that ain’t gonna like what you do and who you are. That’s just apart of the game.”
If you work or collaborate with one person right now who would that be?
“That’s tough.. As far as collaborate I would say Rihanna or Beyonce. As far as brands, one of my favorite’s right now is Pyer Moss just because of what he represents and what he has done for black culture.. his pieces are timeless. I’m not huge on collabs because I want to be my own brand. If I were to ever collaborate with someone it would be extremely limited."
What makes your brand stand out from everyone else?
“The fact that I give people my real authentic self. I tell stories. I can relate to other people. I want to be able to relate to what happens in real life. Being able to give people an emotional feeling for my clothes."
You just dropped a new collection, give us more info on that.
“So my latest collection I named it My Second Home, which was shot at my grandparents house. This is a house I would always go to when I wasn’t home. I had a lot of childhood memories there. I learned a lot there, my grandad is carpenter, he created that house ground up and reconstructed it. My grandma is painter so I’ve always been surrounded my creatives. I always wanted to shoot something in this house because it meant so much to me and my family. When creating something to shoot in this house I wanted my aesthetic to match the aesthetic in my grandparents crib. So I waited until everything just flowed. When I finally got to do a shoot, coincidentally I was able to shoot my grandma because I had a few models cancel on me so she saved the day.”
What do we have in store for Malcolm Malik?
“I was actually just apart of a panel today and they asked me ‘What is your goal in the future’ I honestly don’t know. I focused on the now so it can set me up for the future. I have short term goals I want to accomplish of course, like next year I want to put on a fashion show, some parties that not even fashion related but something that brings people together. I want it to be a lifestyle, a celebration of people, togetherness, culture, and so much more.”
What advice would you give anybody that’s trying to become an artist?
“I would say just start somewhere. It don’t have to be perfect nor do you have to be super knowledgeable. Get you a sewing machine at Walmart. If you can, go to college but now a days you don’t even need things like that to get where you’re going. It’s so many resources, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, just start. Also, don’t think too much because what’s the worse that could happen?”
Check out all of Malcolm's work on IG at malcolmmalik_ and visit his website at www.malcolmmalik.com for all orders and inquiries.