Are you even woke and socially-conscious if you don’t wear it on a T-Shirt? On Sunday evening, activist and civil rights leader Malcolm X’s daughters, Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak Shabazz presented Malcolm X Legacy, a clothing collection that taps into “this new era of global social activism" during Harlem Fashion Week. Held at the Museum of the City of New York, models took the runway as his “Bamboozled” speech, which he gave in Harlem in 1963, blared in the background.
The night championed 17 different designers of color including Christy + You, Rose Paulino, Styles of Imagination, and Beast Mode by Marshawn Lynch. The initial Malcolm X Legacy collection of is made up mostly of hat and graphic tees that featuring sayings like “by any means necessary,” “a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything,” and, of course, “legacy.” Everything is priced under $50 and is currently available online, though, Qubilah tells The New Yorker that the line hopes to move into “more fashionable items.”
“Besides it being Black History Month (and the premiere of Black Panther in theaters), Malcolm X’s legacy needs to be resurfaced for the new generation, "Yvonne Jewnell the designer who helped bring the Shabazz sisters’ vision to life, tells Refinery29 before the show. "There are so many millennials who have no idea about Malcolm X besides what’s in our textbooks, and even then, it’s limited to one or two pages."
For Jewnell, partnering with the sisters on this collection means more than celebrating Malcolm X’s legacy — it’s about celebrating people who stand up for what they believe in. “[It's] something so relevant in our political climate,” she continues. “It’s paying homage to and respecting his legacy, and using it to be a vehicle for change.”