INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One designer made a journey to combine competition and fashion.
The MELi Motorsports Indy 500-inspired collection is the latest project in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s “Racing for Equality and Change” initiative.
The company’s name, “MELi,” is an acronym for “More Equality, Less Ignorance.” Although the company Although it officially launched in 2020, the founder says launching this line is one way to show that there is room for diversity in the running world.
Meli founder Monty Matuca is using the excitement surrounding the Indy 500 as a starting point to showcase his clothing, although Matuca has other products that aren’t all motorsports themed.
“If you’re not as focused on promoting the Indy 500 or wearing those types of brands, we have our more high-end streetwear,” Matuka said.
The fashion, if you ask Matuka, speaks for itself. Described as sophisticated streetwear, the clothing conveys a message 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 is not just a brand, it’s a whole mindset, a lifestyle. We are big proponents of giving minority cultures some of the tools and resources they aren’t always exposed to.
Matuka’s values align with the work being done at IMS’s Race for Equality and Change, and he said he saw the alignment early on.
MELi Motorsports says it will draw attention to diversity in the sport by enhancing clothing options.
But it’s also about minority cultures, past, present and future, who have broken the barriers in professional auto racing.
“We are invited to the competition. 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.