Claw Money's Such a Shill She Even Has a 'Ho Sale'
Speaking of how everyone is essentially a shill, girl-graffiti-writer Claw Money doesn't mind admitting she's a sell-out. In this week's Voice, Angela Ashman interviews Claudia [redacted], the woman behind the famous bear claw about her her "ugly" writing style, her high-end streetwear line, her book Bombshell: The Life and Crimes of Claw Money, and cashing in on her old-school cred.
She's done graffiti-splattered underwear for Calvin Klein (a shrewd businesswoman, she didn't license Calvin Klein her claw icon because "they didn't really want to pay") and clothing for Marc Ecko (she gave him the claw). And this summer Nike will release her multicolored Claw high-tops. The co-founder of Swindle magazine hired her to be the fashion director because of her graffiti background. Most recently she painted her icon all over the set of Ego Trip's (White) Rapper Show. "You'll see there are claws everywhere," she says. According to Sacha Jenkins, editorial director for Mass Appeal and co-producer of the series, the claw lends authenticity to his show: "People who know her and her claw icon, they know she actually did graffiti. She's not some art student who did it for two weeks. She's been a dedicated bomber for years, and now her art has evolved. People have no choice but to respect it."
. . .
"At first I felt like I was bastardizing my graffiti that I had written for the last 16 years on the streets," she says, still struggling with how to balance her business while maintaining the street cred she fought so hard for in a male-dominated subculture. "I was like, God! I'm putting it on a T-shirt, and who are these people wearing it? But, like, I realized, I gotta let it go."
Read the rest here.
And check the Claw's "Ho Sale" here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.