Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 8:17 a.m.
Malice McMunn is ready to cash in on her carefully cultivated look.
Courtesy Alice McMunn
Alice McMunn — much better known by her stage name, Malice — is no stranger to the muse game, although she would never give herself that title. “I’m an old school punk rocker, so it’s hard for me to think about myself [as a brand],” she says.
Nevertheless, her iconic look — tons of tattoos, bold red lips, jaguar-strong cat-eye eyeliner and a very serious mohawk — has been featured on T-shirts and skateboards, illustrated by artists, and photographed for the covers of magazines and books. Kat Von D named a recent lipstick shade after her. She has almost 90,000 followers on Instagram. But Angelenos might best recognize her from the stage at Loz Feliz bikini bar Cheetah’s, where she’s been dancing since 2010. Whether or not she calls herself an inspiration, Malice is certainly used to having audience.
Of much of the above she explains, “I don’t have the rights to any of those images, I’ve never gotten paid for any of those images.” And she’s ready to start making a little cash off of the image she’s worked so hard to create. So last year Malice teamed up with Forgotten Saints L.A., a “custom rock ‘n’ roll clothing store” on Melrose to start designing a clothing line comprised of “stuff I think is cool,” she says, under a label they’re calling Malicious Creatures.
She’s been interested in designing for a long time, but knew she didn’t have the technical expertise — or the cash flow — to make anything happen on her own. “I’ve had so many people suggest it to me. So many. Why don’t you do it? Why don’t you do it? ‘Cause it’s not easy! And my problem in L.A., and I know a lot of females probably go through this same situation, especially if you’re a person who doesn’t have money, is: the people that you talk to are trying to date you. That’s not how I work.” It wasn’t until the folks at Forgotten Saints suggested teaming up that Malice felt comfortable entering into a partnership with anyone.
The line is limited-run right now and only available at Forgotten Saints’ physical store, though a website is launching soon. There are three tee shirt designs: a Malicious Creatures logo tee; a cheeky “MALICE FOR PRESIDENT” red, white and blue tee; and one that features a screen print of her own breasts. “I’ve been kicked off Instagram so many times [for inappropriate content]. So I wanted to do an ode to that, and have people wear my nipples,” she says. Which was not without its design challenges: “The tee shirt company that we sent it to printed them out too low, so I’ve already sent it back a couple of times ‘cause I’m like … whatever you have to do, I don’t want people to not want to wear it ‘cause it looks like saggy titties. I don’t want people to think that mine are there!”
Dressing up has always been important for Malice, onstage and off. She considers herself a work of art and says, “I think people should view themselves as art: carry art, wear art, put it on your face. I really get warm, happy feelings when I see other people elaborately dressed.” Her hope is that the clothes carry a little bit of her spirit to whoever wears them: “I get messages all the time from people telling me that they admire me because I do what I want,” she says. “I think for a lot of people I represent that part of themselves that wants to do that, and for whatever reason they can’t, yet. It’s for everyone who likes what I do and who wants to do their own thing.”
Malicious Creatures has more coming up soon: illustrators who’ve previously drawn Malice have agreed to allow her to use some of their designs for a run of buttons, and she’s looking into making leggings and skirts to go with the tees. But that doesn’t mean she’s willing to give up the Cheetah’s stage and her nights as a dancer yet: “People always say, ‘What do you do for fun?’ And I say, my job. My job is fun. I would rather do that than anything else. I get to hang out with hot girls and dance all night. What else do I want to do? Nothing.”