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Macy’s has been eyeing a collaboration with Maluma for several years, according to Durand Guion, the company’s vice president of fashion. His 61 million followers on Instagram and distinctive personal style were certainly factors, but it was Maluma’s enthusiasm for making the collection that sealed the deal. “We were giddy after the first meeting because this was not just easy, this was fun, and we felt him every step of the way,” Mr. Guion said.
“He’s never scared to try anything on — he’ll try on a women’s coat and be like, ‘I want this, let’s do this,’” Hilda Batayneh, the executive creative director at Reunited Clothing, said about his openness throughout the design process. “The line really is Maluma. When you look at it, you can see him or pieces of him in every single piece.”
Building an Empire
Twelve years ago, at 16, Maluma decided to pursue music, as opposed to soccer, his first passion. In that time, he went from performing at quinceañeras in Medellín to playing in stadiums. In 2018, the same year he sold out Madison Square Garden, he won the Latin Grammy Award for best pop vocal album for “F.A.M.E.” He has collaborated with Shakira, Madonna and The Weeknd, among others.
Still, with all of his accomplishments, Maluma found himself wondering what was next.
“I’m building my empire,” he said, in a melodious paisa accent, the Colombian inflection that rises and falls in a singsong way. “If I don’t do it now, during the most productive moment in my life, before you know it, time will pass me by.”