Meet the artist behind every cuffed and vailed celebrity! House of Malakai (HOM) is pioneering the age of tribal face and futuristic bespoke head adornment. You might have seen music legends like Erykah Badu wearing a nose cuff or Beyonce wearing her iconic Goddess Oshun crown, that was inspired by the Yoruba deity of the same name. The work of Malakai has made its way onto the faces of many well-known celebrities, yet his work remains under the radar. While headdresses, crowns, and opulent hats have been seen throughout fashion history– nose cuffs, lip cuffs, ear cuffs, and futuristic visors have been rare forms of accessories until now. It seems we are moving into a new age of adornment.
The eclecticism in Malakai’s work is a breathtaking allegory of unity that we should all be noting. HOM got its start in 2013 and has earned the respect of even those beyond the fashion industry–drawing influence from a variety of sources. According to the statement on Malakai’s website, his signature is influenced by “science, high fashion, revolutionaries, archaeological digs, and underground movements“– a wise breadth of inspiration.
Malakai’s futurist gaze is beyond anything we’ve seen before in the fashion world. From spiked hats to face chains and visors, his work has a tribal nature, giving his stylistic pieces a feeling of anachronism and innovation. His headwear reflects a very royal, elegant, God-like style while adopting elements of streetwear and futurism. There is an ancient to modern unity that Malakai brings to his work.
Few might be privy that the Berlin, Bali, and LA based artist and designer is actually self-taught. He began his career as a performance artist as well as DJ– a credit to his eclectic and multifarious designs, which feel limitless.
His fashion is especially popular among performers in the music industry and has been sported by Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, Erykah Badu, CL, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, and FKA Twigs, as well as models like Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski, who wore Malakai to the 2019 Met Gala with her nude dress.
The magic of Malakai’s designs is that they are a culmination of many elements that have been seamlessly interwoven. He maintains a diaphanous elegance that marries metropolitan styles to antiquity and futurism, while adhering to an intermittent blueprint of bespoke.
The multidisciplinary cadence of Malakai’s concepts are as varied as his artistic mediums, to say the least… and it is no surprise that his work appeals to all walks of life, all racial backgrounds and genders. Even the production of his adornments are said to be the unification of digital as well as handcrafted methods, with “sustainably-sourced materials” (according to his website Mission statement).
Could Malakai’s strange designs be blazing a new age of innovative jewelry, face, and headwear? The unity that we can observe in Malakai’s pieces, from his multi-disciplinary roots, the relationship of ancient to modern, and the diverse approach as well as multicultural lineage of his pieces, are making waves in the fashion world and most importantly, the music world.
These ethereal pieces also highlight the brilliance of bringing aspects of antiquity together in appreciation of those who came before us, while engaging with futurism. The ingenuity of recognizing the potential of so many intersectional elements working together could inspire a whole new approach to sustainable design in the fashion world.
As more and more artists from all backgrounds show support for these designs, one can only speculate if this unique genre that Malakai has tapped into will bring us into a new age of jewelry and headwear. While pieces might “break the bank” for the average fashion connoisseur, we can only hope that one day, we’ll all be rocking a chin cuff or wearing a gold crown to our next special occasion. If not, we sure hope to see them in more of our favorite music performances. Either way, with what we know from House of Malakai, it is safe to assume that the best is yet to come.