• adidas + UO: Malachai Spivey

    The future is now. For our new + exclusive adidas campaign, we teamed up with 19 up-and-coming creative minds that our shaping our cultural landscape. Scroll on to go behind the scenes of our Fall 2016 campaign and meet the creatives who are working to #createourfuture. 

    Born in Brooklyn, Malachai Spivey is a creative young model who thrives on collaboration. Now based in Queens, he’s working his way up the ranks of the fashion world bringing his own unique spin to every shoot. We sat down with Malachai to talk about creativity, originality, and the future of fashion.
    Lead photo by Petra Collins

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? 
    I was born in Brooklyn. I stay in Queens right now. I would say I'm just a normal kid from the hood. I wouldn't say I'm normal, but with a different mindset. That's why I'm able to do the things I do creation-wise, artistically, all that. I model, I do creative direction. Basically, anything that I can put my whole input into artistically, that's my field. I wouldn't give myself a job title. I like to say I'm a model. I model, but that's not my title. I'm creative. I'm an artist.

    Do you feel like, through your work, you’re helping to break down boundaries? 
    Like I was saying, I wouldn't call myself a model because I'm more than that. I feel like that's why I get the jobs I get based on my personality, and you know, what I can bring. They don't want just a face. I'll make things interesting for you. I'll tell a story just through a picture. 

    What makes for a powerful image? 
    I wouldn't say nothing is original, but there’s not much that is 100% original. Everything is inspired or taken from something. What makes a powerful image is your creativity. Yeah, you can take something from somewhere else, be inspired by something, but now you got to put your little creative twist on it to make it your own and make people feel like, "Oh, this is different. I've seen a thousand people doing this, but there's something different about it. That's what I like about it.”

    Who keeps you going? 
    Myself. I inspire myself. I'm inspired by the things I do each and every day. I always try to be better than myself yesterday and I live everyday like it's my last. I'm going a hundred thousand at everything I do.

    And who do you create for? 
    I create for myself and I create for whoever understands. I don't have a demographic or specific people that I want to see whatever artistic things I'm doing. It's just whoever understands it, whoever feels it. If you see something that I did or that I partook in and you're like, "I feel this. I can relate to this. This reminds me of something." Then I'm making it for you.

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Pretty clear-cut. Where’s fashion headed? 
    I think fashion is headed more into the streets. A lot of designers and stuff aren’t just looking for models. They're looking for just, "This is a character. This person has personality." Not only are they looking for that that in the people that they're working with, but they're looking for that that in the styles they're designing, the lookbooks, the campaigns, all of it. I feel like it's becoming more cultured and it's involving more people that are cultured as well.

    As a creative, working in this industry, do you feel like you have a responsibility to your audience or to the world?
    I do. I wouldn't say it's a responsibility. I feel like it's an obligation I created for myself. This is something that I need to do. If this is what I'm so passionate about, this is what I love, then why am I not going a thousand percent trying to change the minds of everyone who’s thinking simplistically? When I first started getting into, when people first started seeing the things that I'm working on, I was being shunned for it. I feel like it's my duty now to change people’s minds so they don’t look at you when you try something different or venture into new things and think,"What are you doing?" They may not have to understand it, but at least they'll respect it. I just want everyone to respect people's creativity and people's ideas.

    What’s the most creative thing you’ve worked on lately? 
    I didn’t have full creative input on  the whole project, but I did a lot of creative work for Womb Magazine. It's put out through V-Files with the owner Kevin Amato. It's like a magazine for the kids by the kids. It's all submission-based. I take pride in that because, like I said, I'm doing this for people that understand me, understand what I'm trying to do. If you are a part of this, or if you respect it, or if you like it, then I'm doing that for you and I feel very proud of that.

    What does the future look like? 
    I'd say bright. Since I was about fifteen, I've had a set plan.  I'll set a time limit for a goal that I have and so far, I've done everything I was trying to do. I wanted to get signed as a model, I got signed as a model. I wanted to have more recognition in the industry. That's all been happening. As long as that continues and I continue working on myself and working hard putting out creative things for people, for the world, to see,then I feel like it'll be brighter.

    What about does our future look like for the whole world? 
    I don't know what everybody's thinking. I don't know how everybody's feeling. Who knows tomorrow we could just wake up and be happy. I don't know what's going to happen. Hopefully, people will start to realize what's going on and open their eyes and start changing. It begins with yourself.

    Photo by Petra Collins

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