BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.
BE MODERN MAN WILLIAM MALCOLM
Profession: Fashion Designer / Creative Director
One Word That Describes You: Creative
What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?
Being recognized as one of BE’s Modern Man 100 Honorees means a great deal to me. When I launched my fashion label a few years ago, I often turned to Black Enterprise magazine for inspiration. It being one of the few publications that featured African American entrepreneurs, Black Enterprise has often provided me with needed strategies to grow my fashion brand and market my business.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I encourage everyone to live in purpose! For the last nine years, I have hosted The William Malcolm Morning Show. The goal of the weekly talk radio show (that is broadcast on Detroit FM airways) is to inspire, uplift, and motivate listeners to become DREAMERS in action. I want to encourage everyone to live a life of passion and purpose.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
I believe that young black men can become as successful as their peers if provided with similar opportunities. This is why I founded my nonprofit organization Fashion Means Nothing. The William Malcolm Foundation. Our Mission is to uplift, inspire, and highlight aspects of manhood within our community. My organization provides outreach to fatherless young men by promoting educational enrichment, one-on-one mentoring, and service initiatives that will cultivate the next generation of responsible leaders.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I launched my luxury menswear fashion label [a decade ago]. During this same time, Detroit and the country were heading into a recession. Many colleagues, family members, and friends questioned why I was choosing to leave a successful “safe” career as an insurance and financial services executive to pursue a career in fashion during such uncertain economic times. So when I was contacted by Lincoln Motor Company in the fall of 2016, to design a menswear collection in inspiration of the 2017 Lincoln Continental to be featured in a multifaceted marketing campaign and fashion showcase, it further validated the brand that I have been building.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of William Malcolm)
What is the best advice you ever received?
“If your heart is filled with faith, there is no room for fear.” I cannot remember where I originally read this quote but it has forever impacted my life.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
You can’t make a difference in someone else’s life if you have not made a difference in your own life. I encourage all men to take the time to explore what truly makes them excited to be alive. I believe that we are the most productive for ourselves and others when we are living in alignment with our passion and purpose.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.