What do you get when you mix vintage tee’s with a bad-ass babe? Well if you have to ask, then you’ve clearly never heard of the radical new tee brand, Bandit, now gracing it’s presence on MissKL.com. Hailing from the seat edge of a motorcycle comes proud (super cool) nomad and vintage connoisseur, Jen Micmillan, who prides herself in consistently playing metal on her acoustic guitar, and staying faithful to her 9th grade wardrobe. We caught up with Jen to get all the dirty deet’s behind the brand, and of course get into her head. Because let’s be real…we all want to be just as cool as she is. Read all about what makes Jen tick now:
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Jen and I make t shirts and sell vintage tees.
Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day life
Sometimes it’s as exciting as it looks but most of the time I am doing my chores and endlessly taking shirts to the printer and sorting orders and running in circles, I am extremely unorganized. I rent an old house on a couple of acres about 14 miles south of Santa Cruz on the beach with my pet farm animals (beach Chickens and Turkeys) and best friend and travel a lot between here and Austin Texas in my van. I listen to music from sunup to sundown, I work at home so I usually look like shit and only leave for coffee or food. I do most of my socializing on the road.
So what’s the story behind the brand? What was your core inspiration to start your own line?
I used to own boutiques/vintage shops wherever I would move because I was always finding or making stuff and needed an outlet so I wouldn’t be on hoarders. When Vintage tees started getting scarce and expensive I just started making my own vintage style tees for the shop and slowly it started growing to selling to other shops and online.
How would you describe your personal style, and how does it reflect the line?
I wear Levi’s and vintage t shirts every day so it is pretty similar to the stuff I make. My style is pretty much full circle back to 9th grade (that photo of me at the top!). I think it reflects cause it’s all stuff I make I would have worn then and now.
Who is the “Bandit” girl?
So many kinds of girls like it. In my old shop every kind of girl you could imagine would buy the tees. I think for the more “risque” shirts though there is a definite Bandit “Bad Girl”. I liked your guys selections a lot by the way : ) I think you may have the Bad Girl thing covered.
You have some pretty great taste in music. What role does music play when designing a new line?
Music is huge. It inspires me constantly. Whatever I am in the mood for from Country to Metal will totally steer the tees to different places.
What are some of your favorite wardrobe essentials you own?
Motorcycle Boots, Vintage Levi’s, Cowboy Boots, Heyoka Necklace, Harley tees, Silver and Turquoise Jewelry.
Besides designing all these rad vintage inspired tee’s, what are some other hobbies you have?
I like to drive. I am into cars and bikes… I used to have a lot more old cars but I move around too much and was a nightmare to move them all. I play guitar, and for some reason I can only play metal, I keep trying to play my acoustic guitars but I even play metal on those. I collect western stuff. I LOVE MY CHICKENS AND TURKEYS and super want more animals. I love to travel and go new places. I am about to embark on my “Flirtin with Disaster” tour in the van in April starting in California, Arizona, etc then Pyschfest in Austin then through the south. Different friends who play music, tattoo, have lines etc are signing up for different legs of the tour. I will keep you posted on that.
If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
Sitting on Leslie from Heyoka Leathers front porch in Texas with her smoking cigarettes and drinking beer and sleeping in my van.