is the prolific designer behind I Ain’t Dead Yet but despite being at the head of one of the streetwear’s newest and most fascinating clothing brands Malik is much more than just a fashion designer. His influences are deep and varied, speaking to the duplicity of his own character. I Ain’t Dead Yet is Malik’s first foray into the world of clothing. It is a brand that through its invocation of powerfully simple graphics, set it apart from most of its contemporaries. Through the citation of song lyrics, often drawn onto Converse or Vans, Malik is able to invoke ideas larger than just personal style, painting, but the brush his pen, the sneaker his canvas. Many of I Ain’t Dead Yet ’s are simple, with the just the phrase “I Ain’t Dead Yet ” stitched into the fabric.
But despite its aggressive simplicity, the handwritten phrase is a potent take on the nature of youth, speaking to the futility of life and the need to persevere: why stop, why settle for less, implying that the only thing truly able to stop us is death. I Ain’t Dead Yet truly is a statement emblematic of the ethos of a generation and of Malik himself after all, “It don’t stop till the casket drop.”
Here is the full interview transcript
- Where are you from?
I’m from NYC, Manhattan, born and raised.
- What was it like growing up in New York City? How do you think where you’re from has made an impact on you and your work?
Growing up in New York City was and is amazing. I’ve seen and been through a lot of shit here. I’ve also have had a whole lot of opportunities here, which I know have had a positive outcome on my work.
Living in New York, I’ve met idols of mine like; Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, very good friends and a lot of people who have helped me along my journey, with resources and knowledge. It seems right that I was raised here.
- Describe your personal style.
My personal style is resourceful. I LOVE wearing my own clothes. My day to day outfits usually always consist of something that would instantly grab someone’s attention, pieces that people in the loop know ‘that’s worth some money’.
- When did you know fashion is what you wanted to do with your life?
Fashion isn’t what I want to do with my life. It’s one form of art I want to reoccur throughout my life. But I want to do way more beyond Fashion. Music is an example.
- What are some of your most important influences?
A lot of my influences come from Hip-Hop. Growing up with it I have grown to love it. Artists like Andre 3000, Kanye West, Tupac, Guru, Asap Ferg and more have influenced me and forever will. Also my father graffiti legend “Sen 1” is a huge influence of mine.
- It seems like you pull from a diverse range of concepts and influences. What are some of the most important ideas you want people to gain from your work? What do you aim to accomplish?
I want to continue to create, and hopefully, people can get inspired or motivated by me doing my thing.
- What do you see for the future of your clothing? What are your goals?
More pieces. Upgrades. Everything. One of my goals is to have as many people as possible own my clothing. Worldwide. I got more goals but I’d rather work with them instead of talk about them.
- Final thoughts – anything you think we should know?
Yup. Stay on the look out for all my projects. I got a lot of stuff planned and I ain’t gonna quit because it don’t stop till the casket drop.
- Follow Malik on instagram @theresurrectionofmm an @I.aint.dead.yet