Brands Seek Tattoo Skinnovation

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This could be the Age of the Tattoo. Tattoo parlors seem more prevalent than pizza joints. Everybody under 30 seems to sport at least one, if not several, tattoos.

Body art has become so fashionable these days that it’s not only a mainstay of labels such as Ed Hardy and Lucky Brand Jeans, some fans have gone so far as to get inked with designer logos. Now, fashion’s returning the favor.[more]

As viewed through TV, tattoos are ubiquitous. In the U.S., they’re featured in TLC’s reality series, LA Ink and Miami Ink, and in A&E’s Inked. National Geographic Channel’s Rescue Ink Unleashed stars tattooed tough guys with a soft hspot for mistreated dogs and cats. Even a California Mexican restaurant offers free food for life to any customer who displays a tattoo of its logo.

But in fashion, it’s still relatively rare to see luxury brands use tattoo art for inspiration. It helps when the fashion designer is a fan of tattoos, as is the case for Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs.

Scott Campbell, the personal tattoo artist for Jacobs, has just designed the brand’s first tattoo-inspired collection.

As part of the collaboration, fans can get inked by Campbell with the Louis Vuitton logo — or they can purchase bags with highly detailed tattoo renderings done in relief by Campbell, whose previous designer tattoo/product collaborations include Earnest Sewn, as seen in the video above.

Agenda Inc. interprets Louis Vuitton’s tattoo envy as a kind of anti-luxury brand move: “At most periods of history, the dominant role of luxury brands has been to demonstrate social status — to uphold the cultural structure. However, there are clear signs that we are moving into a new environment, a shadow side, where luxury brands can powerfully demonstrate tribal affiliations.”

Maybe branded body piercings—Chanel’s double C’s, anyone—are next?

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