Not unlike his critically acclaimed discography, Miguel's clothing endeavors are similarly underscored by a deeper purpose. Last year, the singer-songwriter dropped two shirt styles tied to important social causes that quickly sold out.

The first — a "Social Distancing Expert" long sleeve t-shirt — benefited DirectRelief.org to provide masks and equipment for frontline workers, while proceeds from his "Destroy Systemic Racism" top went to BLD PWR, an organization that builds an inclusive community of entertainers and athletes to advance radical social change.

But this week marks Miguel's first foray into a complete and comprehensive collection of apparel and accessories. Dubbed Schedule 1 Concepts (or S1C), which he teased on Instagram a few days ago prior to launch, the first drop will bow on April 28 and consist of eight different styles including a hoodie, kimono top and a t-shirt dress — all made using sustainability compliance measures.

The idea for S1C has been brewing in Miguel's mind for a number of years before finally deciding to take the plunge. "I come from a DIY culture in my family and community and that's always inspired me, and it's probably been the real driving force in my success," Miguel tells PAPER on the phone from LA. "Any success I've experienced has always just been like, Hey, if it doesn't exist, just make it."

He describes the learning curve of design as an ongoing process, but that the end result makes it all worthwhile. One of the main goals for the collection was to break away from the kind of safe, one-dimensional mold that many sustainably oriented brands cling to — instead, the clothes are very much representative of Miguel's own multi-cultural background and the complexities of urban life.

"I think this speaks to the kids like me who grew up around punks and real hood dudes," he says. "It's about being edgy while still staying optimistic. I love the idea of sustainable things. But when I go to look for them, often they're clothed for people who sort of live a completely different lifestyle. Like, I don't do yoga, you know what I mean?"

That sense of danger, tenacity and confidence is evident immediately at first glance, from the exposed thongs to oversized graphic sweatshirts and baggy trousers. In many ways, it's a reflection of Miguel's own approach to style, which saw him experiment a few times over the years but always with a strong and clear point of view.

"Even if it was bad, I will say I've always had a point of view and I've used style to set myself apart from what is expected on people that look like me," he says. "And again, sometimes it's been terrible, but I'm glad to kind of learn and sort of clarify for myself what my perspective is. What is life but a constant wheel of reinventing or refining your craft."

Photography: Brandon Bowen

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