Tattoos + Fashion = <3

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Tattoos and fashion haven’t exactly always gone hand-in-hand. Ink’s popularity, like any fashion trend, has risen and fallen in the industry, especially with models often expected to be a blank canvas. But a grittier side of fashion has made a comeback in recent years, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Even the most fashiony of fashion folks are baring their unique, edgy souls, daring to be different and embrace DIY trends, weird vintage finds and, more permanently, tattoos. You could probably stop anyone on the street in the garment district or outside the shows at fashion week and find out she has a token butterfly on her ankle or he has a regrettable Chinese character on his shoulder. But a lot of designers, models, editors and all-around tastemakers are curating a thoughtful, purposeful look with their ink. — COURTNEY ISEMAN

 x Bradley Soileau x

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[photograph by Ryan McGinley]

You might not know Soileau’s name, but you know this model/DJ’s face. Most know it as Lana Del Rey’s boyfriend in the “Born to Die” video. He’s also appeared in Vogue Japan and modeled for impossibly cool labels like Public School and Rochambeau. Soileau has over 55 tattoos, and has really broken the mold for modeling — designers who cast him are choosing how interesting and individualistic he is over how lost his identity can get in the clothes, making a much bolder statement about the aesthetic of whatever’s wearing. His most famous tattoo is undoubtedly the scrawling cursive words on his forehead. They read “War inside my head,” which is a Suicidal Tendencies song and, as Soileau has said is “a big fuck you to everyone, and also the truth: there is a war inside my head.”

x Pamela Love x

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Pamela Love has managed to go from Brooklyn darling to jeweler of the A-list (as in Beyonce A-list) and not lose an ounce of street cred. Her dark and twisty approach to a sort of Southwestern, bohemian vibe is undeniably unique, and her nature-inspired pieces skew more wicked rock star than earth mother. Also making her designs stand out is that her actual personality radiates through every creation — she is edgy, she is a bit bohemian, she is in tune with mystical wonders like dream-catchers. That mix is also evident in her ink. Of her tattoo collection, a bold seeing eye stands out on her upper arm, and two crossed arrows on her middle finger has become a signature piece of hers. Fittingly, she got it in New Mexico, an area with an aesthetic clearly referenced in her jewelry.

x Freja Beha Erichsen x

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Freja Beha Erichsen has walked the runway for the likes of Prada and has been splashed across the pages of probably every magazine you read. She’s stunning, and there’s something a little dark, cool and mysterious about her. Whether that’s her and the tattoos complement it or it’s the tattoos that are driving that mystique forward is hard to tell and irrelevant. Either way, the ink gives her beauty an intriguing finish. She has said she doesn’t think too long about what to get, and loves the whole process of getting tattoos. She seems to favor wordy ink: offsetting rebellious motifs like a revolver are beautifully scrawled reminders to herself like “Float,” “This too shall pass,” and “This world tonight is mine.”

x Abbey Lee Kershaw x

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[image via guestofaguest.com]

Australian model Abbey Lee Kershaw balances her angelic looks with a whole lot of ink. The blonde has walked for Oscar de la Renta and Rodarte (to name a couple of many), has participated in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and appeared in the famous/infamous (depending on who you talk to) Pirelli calendar. The multi-talented model also acts — she was in Mad Max: Fury Road, paints, and drums in a band in Australia. So perhaps it’s no surprise this impossibly cool Renaissance girl racks up in the ink department. One of her cutest tats is an owl on her middle finger. One of her most badass pieces is definitely the “truth” branding on the inside of her bottom lip – ouch.

x Anna Sheffield x

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Designer of downtown girl-favored line Bing Bang, Anna Sheffield combines a fine arts background with a punk sensibility. She’s collaborated with everyone from Target to Marc Jacobs, pulling inspiration from a life spent living in areas like New Mexico, California, the south and New York. Sheffield has an elegant look about her, which makes for a pretty awesome juxtaposition with how tatted up she is. The colorful, vibrant ink sprawling over her arms constitutes as full sleeves, for sure. The designer says her left arm is Tibetan Buddhist-themed – she has Sanskrit writing and Thangka painting-inspired flowers creating an exotic, global-traveler vibe. Sweetest one? A church key on one wrist and an “om” on the other wrist, creating a “1” and “3” for 13, the date of her brother’s birth.

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