Fashion designer rolls out Indy 500-inspired clothing line
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A designer has taken off on a journey to merge racing and fashion.
In a partnership developed through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway initiative “Race for Equality and Change,” MELi Motorsports Indy 500-inspired collection is just the latest project to appear.
The company’s name, “MELi,” is an acronym for “more equality, less ignorance.” Although the company officially launched in 2020, the founder says debuting this line is just one way to illustrate there is room for diversity in the world of racing.
Monty Matuka, the founder of MELi, is using the excitement surrounding the Indy 500 as the starting line to show off his clothing, though Matuka has other products that aren’t all motorsports-themed.
“If you’re not more so focused on promoting the Indy 500 or wearing those types of products, we have more of our just higher-end streetwear,” Matuka said.
The fashion, if you ask Matuka, speaks for itself. Described as sophisticated streetwear, the clothing carries a message catered to a diverse audience, speaking directly to culture and the human spirit.
As a first-generation Congolese-American, Matuka says his vision is shaped by his culture.
“MELi isn’t just a brand, it’s a whole mindset, a lifestyle. We are huge advocates on being granted access to certain tools and resources that the minority culture isn’t necessarily always exposed to,” he said.
Matuka’s values line up with ongoing work being done under the IMS Race for Equality and Change initiative, and he says he saw the alignment early on.
MELi Motorsports, he says, draws attention to diversity in the sport while enhancing apparel options.
But it’s also a nod to minority cultures, past, present, and future, who have broken down barriers in professional auto racing.
“We are invited to the race. We are welcome in the sport – as minorities. And we can all come together,” Matuka said.
The MELi Motorsport collection is available on their website, and also at the IMS museum.