Bandanas around their necks, loose tees adorned with art and jeans speckled with paint. The streets of Montréal were filled with graffiti bandits, lovers and writers last week, and you can’t deny that these guys got style.
I had the chance to meet up with the lovely Klor as she was taking a break from painting her UNDER PRESSURE wall. She is a killer artist and a founder of 123KLAN and the brand BANDIT1$M with Scien. These two have been partners in crime (literally) since 1992. #RELATIONSHIPGOALS
Klor was such a pleasure to talk to. A remarkable woman who doesn’t abide by government laws or gender norms, she does her own thing and she’s damn good at it.
She started painting 26 years ago in Northern France, inspired by hip hop and it’s culture she found herself a crew and started to spray. Being the only girl didn’t bother her, she bombed away and fell in love with letters, their shape, form, and meanings. All this with no Internet to inspire, and no Instagram to contact other graffiti writers. She was and still is, out there to write, to create and to inspire. I definitely developed a bit of a girl crush learning about her epic story and how she came to be.
Soon thereafter, she met up with Scien and created 123KLAN, who is now Montréal based since 2007. Now together, they play with letters, numbers, and words, the influence of hip hop culture, the colors and the paint. Their style is definitely and eye-full: they are all about huge, sharped-angled letters in acid colors and a mix of old-school and futuristic manga characters. Before long they dipped their toes in graphic design and technology and combined their techniques and creativity to make t-shirts and shoes. After working with big streetwear brands like Adidas and Nike, BANDIT1$M was born: an easy, fun and legal way to make money and find the freedom they needed to keep on creating without having to get a 9 to 5 job.
The witty and sarcastic theme around BANDIT1$M is enough to love the name and the brand. First, the brand was created as to showcase their art legally and not as criminals, or “bandits” could you say? It was to make money “$“, since paint and legal finds start getting costly, why not wish for 1 million dollars “1$M“. How about throwing a little signature in there as well “123“, “2” becomes an “s” or “$” and flip the “3” to make an “m“. The clever name is just the beginning, check out the online shop here and see their play on words and letters of the first, second, third and fourth degree as well as skillful graphic designs filled with clichés. That “New World Disorder” red long sleeve is definitely one of my faves and the “Tiger Front” crewneck with the words seek and destroy on it!
OOOHH HECK, I LOVE ‘EM ALL!!
It is said that a graffiti crew is like family, but what if your family becomes your graffiti crew. Three members of 123KLAN were painting the Goldorak inspired piece at Under Pressure this weekend, Klor, Scien and their son Aiik. I also got to meet their daughter Sugar C, who has also been known to spray from time to time. As the klan grew, naturally so did the brand. Today BANDIT1$M has over 190 items on their online boutique, which is their only selling point, though they sometimes make exceptions for their buddies at Artgang and they might have some merch on them at festivals.
BANDIT1$M is now definitely a reputable streetwear brand, as Klor wished it would become. I am thankful to have met her and gotten to know the crew a little better. I can’t wait to see what happens to the brand and the klan cause we all know the beauty of the graffiti world is that it’s always moving and always unpredictable.
CHECK THEM OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
AND A BIG THANK YOU TO UNDER PRESSURE
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