Zayn Malik has debuted his new merch over at Vogue, and while most of it is in the current streetwear goth oeuvre of merch (Vetements-epoch tees and hoodies; the obligatory flight jacket with Zayn’s name in Urdu), there is one t-shirt in the collection that is the very best troll, in that it will no doubt piss off many types of people.
Malik worked with metal illustrator Mark Wilkinson, who is known for his drawings on Iron Maiden album covers; zombies and fellow undead wanderers are a frequent theme. In this lovely iteration of Zayn’s Pillowtalk, a glossy and overly ginger R&B album in which Malik generally just sings about wanting to fuck, he is a glorious warrior being chased by burning zombies, who are also broadcasting his baby photograph/album cover on the wall of a building destroyed by apocalypse. Zayn, of course, is the last man standing, and you in the shirt are the other last person standing, and he is maybe going to plant his flag in your soil, if you know what I mean.
Already, some metal fans—who generally speaking, tend to be territorial about their music and culture—are not pumped.
This is, of course, a fully understandable reaction when a subculture that is often misunderstood and definitely maligned is borrowed by pop stars with empty gestures, particularly because it just looks fashionable. Yet on the other hand, even some Zayn fans are not feeling this look:
Zayn Malik, fashion troll! If only the boring album had provoked as vibrant a discourse.
Image via screenshot/zaynmalik.com