CUSTOM & STYLE: Bandit9 Steals Fashion Mojo

Motorcycles and fashion converge in futuristic backpacks.

Bandit9 side view

Motorcycles and Fashion; they're a perfect match, just ask any big fashion house forking out zillion-dollar ad campaigns to the big glossy mags every year. Motorcycles make ideal props for languorous models, as let's admit it, two wheels push all sorts of romantic buttons in the non-riding public, whether it's a longing for a nonexistent past (Ralph Lauren's sepia-toned moto-safaris), or a projection of superpowers on a top model (Chanel's flying Ducati "ridden" by Keira Knightley).

A perfect mashup of designer gear + groovy bike is very rare, unless we're going retro again with Rocker togs and Triumph or Depression workwear and Harley, which has Been Done Before. From the farthest geographic reaches of both clothing and custom bike design, we have the curiously ideal mix of Saigon's Bandit9's silver machine with Ukrainian designer Konstantin Kofta's rigorously futuristic backpacks, shot with a Modernist/minimalist sensibility by Wing Chan. You may or may not like Bandit9's "Eve," based on a late '60s Honda SS, but you can't deny the purity of Eve's lines, and the remarkable transformation of a totally unremarkable and near-universal, super-ordinary commuter machine.

Bandit9 Eve 3/4 rear view

Daryl Villanueva, the Bandit chief, explains the mix: “Konstantin contacted me months ago to acquire an Eve for himself. Because of the conflict in Ukraine, we were unable to ship bikes to his part of the world. But we talked about doing a project together; I saw his work and there is nothing out there like it. I was all over the opportunity of working with him.

“Bandit9 is really interested in becoming more than custom motorcycle company,” Villanueva continues. “Fashion is just one of the many industries we're trying to break into. We're trying to create a different class of bikes that's not just for existing motorcycle lovers. I think there's a world full of people who would be interested in bikes if they understood what a bike can be. And that's why we look at different disciplines for inspiration.”

The Eve was inspired by sci-fi. “I'm trying to build bikes that belong in another dimension,” says Villanueva. “I think that's what really excites people. Why not get inspiration from NASA, comics, biology, watches, music? Eve's sleek design is a mix of influences from brass musical instruments to space travel.” Wing Chan’s photo shoot captures that mood perfectly as a retro-futurist fantasy, complemented by the Ruby helmet (RIP following bankruptcy, sniff), and Kofta’s Sci-fi film prop accessories. Fashion and industrial design fans are eager adopters of new and edgy style; bikes like Eve just might open the door for a whole new cadre of motorcyclists.

Bandit9 Eve front view.

Bandit9 Eve side view.

Bandit9 Eve 3/4 rear view.

Bandit9 Eve overhead view.