Inspiration: “Away with all you mocking pretenders and underachievers. From the graveyard, I come to destroy the deceivers.”
Was my mantra while conceptualizing my interpretation of this character.The confidence and bold essence of the Midnight Robber is often a reference point for who I am as a designer. As a tribute, I sought to imagine the Midnight Robber as modern-day Bonnie and Clyde with fashion as their weapon.” – Atiba Borde, Designer
One of the most legendary mas characters, the Midnight Robber is complex, larger than life persona that continues to expand and evolve with each unique portrayal. Known for his intimidating speeches and bombastic mannerisms- the Robber’s character narrative is one of seeking revenge for wrongs done to him and his family lifetimes past- a narrative reminiscent of the legacy of slavery. He is known for his vivid storytelling style and ability to speak menacingly in poetic rhyme, a tradition that is believed to be reflective of the griots (West African Storytellers). His all black get-up alludes to death and destruction and consists of a large wide brim hat (which may be decorated in skulls and other occult symbols), pants, cape and blouse. He accessorizes with a gun that can sometimes be mistaken for a real one and perhaps a coffin to collect the offerings he demands of his crowd. Many have found his braggadocious speaking tradition reflected in a wide range of artistic forms and mediums, notably in Caribbean music culture and American rap (which also evolved out of poetic verse).