Heritage is built: Maurice Malone celebrates 40 years in the business of fashion

A vintage 1995 Maurice Malone streetwear advertisement features and white 90s track suit, adorned with reflective silver stripes and underwear with logo-emblazoned waistband

Celebrating four decades in the fashion industry is not merely an anniversary; it's a testament to resilience in a landscape notorious for its evanescent trends and shifting sands. Fashion is an arena that can be both fickle and unforgiving, often exalting designers to star status only to later consign them to obscurity. Yet, here I am, 40 years in, not just surviving but thriving. It's an achievement few can claim, and it hinges on a deliberate choice: the pursuit of originality above trends.

A male model wearing Mojeans Black Label white condom pocket underwear and track jacket styles from the early 2000s by African-American fashion designer Maurice Malone

From the outset, when I founded my first company, Hardwear by Maurice Malone, on February 15, 1984, I knew I was building heritage. I was in it for the long haul. I felt my beginning would mean so much later in the future—I designed the date that I started into the brand's logo.

80s African American fashion designer Maurice Malone clothing in advertisement from Jan. 1988 Interview Magazine

During my career, I have consciously sidestepped the ephemeral trends that often tempt designers. While momentarily profitable, chasing the zeitgeist is akin to fashion quicksand; it may hold you for a time, but it will eventually pull you under. Instead, my design aim was ingenuity, which I believe bred a kind of permanence and was built for the long haul. That's not just longevity; that's heritability.

Over these 40 years, my commitment has remained unchanged: to craft timeless pieces that elegantly bridge street style with high fashion. It's a vision aimed not just at today's transitory acclaim, but at enduring relevance. So, as we prepare to roll out the "40 Years Made" festivities, know that we're not only celebrating a rich past but also foreshadowing an even richer future. Stay tuned for what promises to be an exciting sartorial journey through time.

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