After our third and most recent collaboration with Market, we put the smiley bag aside to sit down with Director of Merchandising Malachi Shockley. Learn more about the creativity behind some of Market's marquee programs as well as Malachi's intriguing side projects below.
Tell us about yourself and where you grew up.
My name is Malachi Shockley. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. I ended up getting into streetwear and fashion through punk and hardcore. I started my first band when I was 15, but I knew that music wasn’t for me when I spent more time working on our merch than our music. I ended up starting a clothing brand when I was 18 with my best friend back home, he handled the art and I handled the business and production. We figured out everything together, it started with locally printed tee shirts and hoodies and then grew into cut n sew. I learned how to make clothes overseas by lurking on the Hypebeast forums. At 20 I was in college, working as a sales associate at Urban Outfitters in Louisville, and somehow got connected to a manufacturer with a skate brand in Indonesia that wanted to break into the American market. They promised to make clothes for my brand if I helped them out, I blindly agreed having no connections in the industry. I had just taken Jeff Staple’s Skillshare class, so I knew that tradeshows were hugely important to make waves in our industry. I convinced the brand to fly me and my best friend out as sales reps to the Long Beach Agenda tradeshow. I learned my chops as both a sales rep and a manufacturer plug. I emailed brands blindly in between classes and breaks at work, desperate to link and build. All the while, I was slowly working my way up at UO from associate to Men’s Manager, when one day an assistant buyer position opened in Philadelphia.
I applied and got the gig, and I was off to Philly. I started off buying socks, underwear, and hats. It took me a little while, but I dug in and learned as much as I could and started to get the hang of buying. I worked my way through categories and eventually became the Buyer for all of men’s graphics and basic tees. I was running a 70-million-dollar graphic business in a few short years and was working with brands I had dreamed of working with. I got to do projects with national brands like Polo, Adidas, Champion, Guess, Fila, and more. Helping curate and create special products. Most importantly to me, I got to work with exciting upcoming brands like Chinatown Market. It was always important to me that I worked with newcomers and brought in brands that had the potential to be the next big thing.
Eventually, I had the urge to get out of Philly and see what was next. I ended up landing a job at NTWRK in LA and packed up my bags and did the long drive to the West Coast. I settled in and did some rad collaboration projects for them. After three months I quickly established myself on the team and started their resell sneaker business. It was a hit and drove some significant revenue, I ironically am not into sneakers but knew the value it could bring to their audience. It became a dominant category for their business and things were going great.
One day I went to snag a cup of coffee and ran into Mike Cherman not far from my apartment in Highland Park. He offered for me to come by the new Market office and show me around. We had worked together in the past and I was always a big admirer of his business and creative mind. Not long after the invite, I came by the office, and he offered me a position on the team. I was happy to accept, and the rest is history!
What is your position and MARKET and what you do on the daily.I am the Director of Merchandising! My day-to-day is so different, but to summarize, I work with a ton of creative people to make exciting products in the most efficient but fun way possible. My role is really to help plan and steer the ship when it comes to what we release and when we release it. I am the glue between design and marketing and see the process through of creating product; from building the line plan to scheduling the release date to processing the data and sales after a release. While making sure we stay on track with our business goals.
When did the Random Workshop get created and what is it all about?
It is our studio space in Eagle Rock that allows the team and our collaborators to break away from their computers and create with their hands. We have a room full of just about all the equipment you need to ideate and create samples and small runs of garments and accessories. It’s like the fantasy factory but for clothes.
Tell us about what it was like creating the TAIKAN x Random Workshop bags and some of the concept behind the creations?It was all about utility and overt DIY. Maximalism meets actual practical use. We added bungies, additional pockets, carabiners, and adjustable straps. We used ripstop, nylons and mesh to create a multi-textural experience that felt cohesive, with bright pops of our brand blue.
Let everybody know about our collaboration coming out in the Fall.Oh yea, we are cooking up something fun for this Fall. This one is a special piece for those stand out fits. Texturally satisfying and features a familiar Smiley face you may have seen from us once or twice haha.
Where do you like to draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from all over. I grew up listening to punk, metal, and hardcore, so that has had a lasting effect on my personal aesthetics. Outside of that, I have a passion for indie films, digging through vintage (in person or late-night eBay/Esty), trying new food, hitting local art galleries and shows, sorting through records, drinking good coffee, smoking weed, and hanging out with friends.Everyday life can be inspiring when you surround yourself with the best version of the things you love.
Who are some of your favourite designers or brands out there?My favorite brands and designers are the people within my community. Shout out to Lavender, Brigade, One Of These Days, Cool Calm Studios, Kid Super, Towndust, Hybrid, Riveriswild, Bueno, Shermer Academy, Libero, Avenue Studios, Jungles Jungles, Mount Sunny, Isla, Product House, Inconvenience Store, Man Who Captured Sunshine, Mono Stereo, Henry Kerns, Colin Vest, Worlds Fair Supply, Homebody and Chelsea Drugstore. Emerging brands define the culture and are the future of our industry.
Please tell us about your personal brand Nevermind.
Nevermind is a project I started when I first moved to Los Angeles. It is a menswear line that is deeply inspired by punk and nature, exploring the crossover of sometimes clashing aesthetics. It is graphic heavy, but all rooted in natural color palettes. The range consists of heavyweight tees, fleece, and thermals made locally, alongside cut n sew button-ups, jerseys, and knit sweaters.
It is a huge outlet for me and allows me to flex my muscles in design, photography, and running a small business.
What projects are you working in that you’re excited about?
I’m excited for our fall line at Market. I think it is our most mature collection to date with a lot of really elevated pieces. We’ll also be launching a collaboration with Les Benjamins, a brand based in Istanbul. The collection is inspired by a love for rugs and has some crazy details. Mike and I had the pleasure of visiting last summer right after Paris Fashion Week. We stayed for 72 hours and had the most incredible time visiting the Grand Bazar, eating food with Salt Bae, and of course, bringing this collection to life at their headquarters.
A preview of our most recent collaboration with Market and Malachi...
Learn more about the TAIKAN X MARKET X SMILEY bag HERE.