24 April

Who is House of Malakai, the artist who creates head wear for Beyoncé and FKA Twigs?

 

It’s impossible not to notice them in music videos by BeyoncéFKA TwigsLady Gaga and Rihanna. Part shamanic mask and part goddess finery, House of Malakai’s head dresses and jewellery are simply stunning, powerful and rich. They’re the work of Malakai, a Californian designer and performer who divides his time between San Francisco, Berlin and Bali where he established his studio. Numéro caught up with this artist who is particularly influenced by spirituality.

By Léa Zetlaoui

  • FKA Twigs et Beyoncé
  • Numéro: Your designs have been seen on artists including BeyoncéFKA Twigs, and on Rick Owens runway. How did you start out?

    Malakai: Stylists who work in music and fashion often explore the underground scene looking for inspiration. A stylist who was working on a fashion campaign with Beyoncé discovered my designs and got in touch. Facebook and Instagram have also helped get my name out there, and then things started moving very quickly. It’s funny that I’m thought of as a ‘young designer’ because I’ve been doing my performances for years. Working with Beyoncé at the last Grammy Awards was an incredible experience with her innate sense of showmanship, her use of mapping, the giant screens and the dancers, it was all amazing. I’m also very close to FKA Twigs and Erykah Badu. We share the same values and form a kind of community.

     

     

    “I bring together different media like dance and transvestism, along with fire and flower animations, piercings and light shows.​”

     

     

    How would you describe your performances?

    I bring together different media like dance and transvestism, along with fire and flower animations, piercings and light shows. It’s generally very visual. For example I often use burning wings and I get invited to shows such as the Cirque du Soleil and the Burning Man festival.

Collection House of Malakai fall-winter 2017-2018.

Collection House of Malakai fall-winter 2017-2018.

How did you come up with the idea of creating jewellery?

It happened in parallel to my performances; I wanted to launch a collection of clothes. I wanted to offer creations with serious visual impact and then I ended up orientating my creative teams to head wear. When we made the first piece, I posted it on Instagram and had so much positive feedback. Ultimately it’s a way to impose my artistic vision in the same way that others start out doing handbags or hats leading up to the development of more complete collections.

 

 

Collection House of Malakai fall-winter 2017-2018.

Collection House of Malakai fall-winter 2017-2018.

“Mysticism, myths and the supernatural are all part of my world: I often use natural and symbolic materials like bones, feathers, stones and crystals.

 

 

You have a very particular world, marked by mysticism and spirituality. Where does your inspiration come from?

My performances are largely influenced by subcultures, goths, punks, hippies… and then I imbue them with a ritualistic and tribal dimension. My creations simply echo the aesthetic of my shows. Tribal culture shares similar energy to all that because it’s so connected to nature and draws on spirituality. Mysticism, myths and the supernatural are all part of my world: I often use natural and symbolic materials like bones, feathers, stones and crystals.

 

Discover House of Malakai collections on houseofmalakai.com

 

 

 

House of Malakai creations at Rick Owens fall-winter 2017-2018 show photographed by Mehdi Mendas

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