Zayn Malik is getting a spotlight on his new merchandise clothing line and how it pays homage to his Pakistani heritage, but musicians these days may not have any other choice if they want to survive financially.
Lately, the big news surrounding Zayn Malik and other celebrities that are considered “people of color” is how they embrace their heritage and eschew whitewashing all together.
For example, on top of including Urdu lyrics in his solo debut album, Mind of Mine, Zayn Malik has been incorporating the Pakistani heritage of his father in his merchandise and has been getting recognition for it lately.
Deccan Times quoted Zayn Malik stating the following in an interview about a fashion line he created that he would “wear himself.”
“My family is from Pakistan, so having artwork in Urdu has huge significance to me.”
According to a June 27 report from Vogue, Zayn Malik was attempting to “approach [my merchandise line] as an opportunity to extend my ideas as an artist, and to give fans another facet of who I am.”
Of course, Zayn Malik is not the first music celebrity to have their own fashion line, and Fashion Law recently reported that it is crucial to stand apart with your merchandise in the way that Zayn Malik seems to be doing.
Mainly, one of the reasons that music celebrities are dependent on selling things like fragrances or fashion is due to the fact that most music is now basically income-free thanks to free downloads.
In other words, instead of relying on record sales or getting your album played on the radio, musicians today, like Zayn Malik, are using a new format to make money from their music from their fans and Zayn Malik’s fashion line/merchandise is one of them.
What is interesting is how successful a celebrity fashion line like Zayn Malik’s can be. For example, Earn the Necklace stated that Kanye West’s Yeezus clothing line “is still one of the most-talked about brands of 2016” despite being “widely criticized.”
According to a July, 2015, report from Complex, Justin Bieber once said that Kanye West gave him the best advice about getting involved in the celebrity fashion business. What he said was that every couple of years he will have bad years, but then you will have that one year that will make up for all the other years you did not do as well.
In other words, as long as Zayn Malik stays in the game, there will be a good chance that he has success in the celebrity fashion merchandise world.
High Snobiety said that this is the perfect time period in fashion for musicians selling clothing lines because musicians, like rappers, are “conduits” to poorer consumers for high-end fashion brands that have previously excluded them and were not able to establish an authentic connection.
Adding to this, Fish, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden’s T-shirt illustrator, Mark Wilkinson, has also been working with Zayn Malik on his merchandise ideas, according to Alternative Press.
However, the idea of getting rid of whitewashing has been on the agenda of Zayn Malik fans for a while. For example, in a Fader interview, it was discussed about how Zayn Malik was often described as the “mysterious” one of One Direction, and some of his fans thought that was racist.
It was also considered whitewashing by some of Zayn Malik’s fans because he was not allowed to grow a beard.
In the end, it is also is helpful that Zayn Malik dates beautiful women such as Gigi Hadid because they can model his clothing, and Teen Vogue has evidence of Gigi doing exactly that for Zayn.
In the future, it appears that there might be more pictures of Zayn Malik with cats on his merchandise, and there is a chance the money would be used for good deeds that involve cats.
In addition to posting several Instagram photos of himself with Gigi Hadid’s cat, Chloe/Bieber Hadid, Sugarscape said Zayn Malik reached out to a fan on social media to pay for surgery for a cat that had to have emergency surgery after “being beaten horrendously by his owner’s roommate.”
[Picture by Kamil Zihnioglu/AP]