Tour merch is becoming nearly as popular as streetwear. Whether it’s Kanye West’s ‘Pablo’ collection which made $1 million in two days, Justin Bieber’s Vetements-y ‘Purpose’ line sold at V-Files or Skepta’s ‘Konnichiwa’ range, these clothes sell out – and fast.
Zayn Malik is the latest star to unveil a collection, which accompanies his first solo album Mind of Mine, released in March. Comprising 23 pieces, the line consists of hoodies and tees emblazoned with everything from his face to Urdu script. “Everything was created with the idea that this is something I would want to wear,” said Malik in an interview with Vogue. “I wanted to approach this as an opportunity to extend my ideas as an artist, and to give fans another facet of who I am.”
Speaking on the decision to incorporate Urdu script into the designs, Malik said, “My family is from Pakistan, so having artwork in Urdu has huge significance to me.” Of course this isn’t the first time he’s referenced his Pakistani heritage – one of Mind of Mine’s tracks, “fLoWer”, is sung in Urdu. “I just mixed my Urdu speaking with lyrics I was writing down in English and that’s what I came up with,” he said in a recent Dazed interview. “I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels good to sing that way.”
The line also features a t-shirt bearing a graphic designed by Mark Wilkinson, the illustrator who designed art for heavy metal bands including Fish (of which he was the lead singer), Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. “Working with Mark gave me a licence to do something exciting conceptually with a lot of colour and detail.”