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Photo by Jennifer H. Cunningham

Malcolm X’s Daughter’s Launch “Malcolm X: Legacy” In Honor Of Civil Rights Leader’s 12 Principles

Malcolm X’s daughters said they hope the next generation will understand the life, teachings and legacy of their father with their new clothing line inspired by the slain civil rights icon.

The six women have dropped the military influenced “Malcolm X: Legacy” collection, and will officially launch the brand during its catwalk debut at Harlem Fashion Week next month. The line is inspired by Malcolm X’s 12 principles, which include self-defense, unity, self-reliance, justice and cultural pride. Using photographs, quotes, the 1960s style aesthetic and other Malcolm X imagery, the sisters and designer Yvonne Jewnell created the clothes.

“It’s fashion, but we’re incorporating knowledge with it,” Gamilah Shabazz told BOSSIP.

On Tuesday, Gamilah and Qubilah Shabazz appeared alongside Harlem Fashion Week founders Jewnell and Tandra Birkett for an intimate press conference at the Renaissance Restaurant in Harlem. The sisters said their collection was designed for both fans young and old, and was an authentic, practical way to teach others about their father’s work.

Birkett said that Malcolm X’s legacy was synonymous with Harlem, and it made sense to hold the fashion show in Malcolm’s old stomping grounds.

“Harlem Fashion Week really believes in having fashion with a message, a cultural dimension and a historical perspective,” Birkett said.

ROCHESTER, NY – FEBRUARY 16: Former Nation Of Islam leader and civil rights activist El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (aka Malcolm X and Malcolm Little) poses for a portrait on February 16, 1965, in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Gamilah said she and her family have never profited over her father’s likeness and image being used in clothing, posters, and other materials since his murder. But she said they’d wanted to do something as a family for a long time, and with the current political climate, now was as good a time as ever to execute their vision.

Photo by Jennifer H. Cunningham

“In 50 years, our family has not benefitted in any way from the bootlegging that continues, people merchandizing things without even asking,” she told us. “We’re all creative. Some of us are more cerebral. But we can all work together and that’s the great seed that has come out of this.”

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