The project is a collaboration with technology marketing guru Mustafa Shaikh and the designs blend Hip Hop culture with Chinese influences. The debut collection highlights the Golden Dragon, a symbol of wisdom, energy and strength.
“36 Chambers is inspired by the Wu philosophy: kung fu, mathematics, Eastern philosophy and art,” RZA said in a press release. “Using that as a foundation, we’ve blended together the rugged feel of streetwear, with the quality craftsmanship of high fashion, to create apparel with a classic look.”
The clothing doesn’t use any animal leather, sticking with RZA’s vegan lifestyle, which earned him an award from PETA last year. The line consists of jackets, bags, shirts and accessories that will be made available for pre-order in stages with the first stage going online today (October 19). The full collection will be available November 18.
RZA’s own personal fashion has evolved since the 1993 release of the group’s debut album. He has exchanged the baggie hoodies and beanies for tailored jackets and button-up shirts and has called for the black community to be more aware of how clothing affects people’s perception, saying it could be a factor in police brutality.
“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also gotta have them take a look and us take a look in the mirror at the image we portray,” RZA said to Bloomberg in January. “If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth whether I watch him on TV, movies or just see them hanging out and they not looking properly dressed, properly refined, carrying themselves, conducting themselves at proper hours of the day, things that a man does. You’re gonna have a certain fear or stereotype of them. I tell my sons … I say, ‘If you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie.’ We live in New York, so hoodies and that is all good, but sometimes button up your shirt, clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid. I think that’s another big issue we’ve got to pay attention to is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer or to any officer.”
View RZA’s personal style evolution below.