The decision to get a tattoo is not one to be taken lightly. Before making such a permanent (albeit pretty) modification to your body, you need to be sure you're in good hands. Nowadays, this task is much less daunting; thanks to Instagram, you no longer need to pound the pavement checking out artists' portfolios to ensure their work is copacetic with your own style. Because fashion folk — from designers and stylists, to models and makeup artists — are generally creative types with an appreciation for detail and aesthetics, tattoos are quite popular among them; and when one or two industry bigwigs get inked by (or collaborate with) a particular artist, others tend to follow.
While tattoo trends come and go, there's a certain crop of pros that have emerged as favorites among the fashion set; it's a well-known fact that Marc Jacobs has called upon Scott Campbell for the better part of a decade, and seemingly every blogger on the planet has a tattoo from Los Angeles-based Dr. Woo. From tiny, fine lines and stick-and-pokes to full-on color sleeves, here's who industry insiders trust when it comes to getting inked.
As far as celebrity tattoo artists go, Bang Bang (aka Keith McCurdy) is among the most renowned. In fact, he recently published a book that gives fans a look behind the scenes at his jet-setting lifestyle, as he's essentially always "on call" for his loyal clientele. Along with pop cultural icons like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, he's inked a number of top models, including Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn and Ruby Rose. Not a bad resume, if you ask us.
Bang Bang NYC, 328 Broome Street. Call (212) 219-2799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment information.
The minimalist (yet visually striking) work of Curt Montgomery certainly makes a statement, as it frequently depicts themes of sexuality, death and/or boldly written curse words. In mostly black ink with the occasional hint of color, the Canada-based artist puts a modern spin on traditional folk tattoo designs.
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Perhaps the most Insta-famous name on this list, LA-based Dr. Woo boasts a whopping 1 million followers on the social platform. This is thanks in part to his loyal (and chic) clientele, which includes Chiara Ferragni, Emily Weiss, Cara Delevingne and Erin Wasson — not to mention celebrities like Drake and Miley Cyrus, who frequently pop in for one of his tiny, fine-lined, single-needle tattoos. As with many things fashion people love, like Birkin bags or Gucci loafers, getting in with Dr. Woo requires some time spent on a waiting list, so we suggest getting in contact as soon as the desire strikes.
Shamrock Social Club, 9026 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Call (310) 271-9664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment information.
The streetwise, graffiti-inspired work of Parisian artist Fuzi is instantly recognizable, thanks in part to the pieces he's inked on the likes of Diplo and Scarlett Johansson. He's currently based in Los Angeles, but he frequently travels to set up shop in cities around the world in order to bring his craft to a wider audience.
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With work that's often so tiny it requires a double-take to properly notice it, New York-based Jon Boy has found a following among ink-shy supermodels and celebrities alike. Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Gucci's Alessandro Michele have all hit him up for minimalist tattoos, and he even took up residency at the influencer-heavy Revolve House in the Hamptons this summer.
West 4th Tattoo, 163 W. 4th Street, New York, NY. Call (212) 924-8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment information.
A favorite among bohemian designers like Pamela Love and Anna Sheffield, Minka Sicklinger's tattoos — often featuring tribal or spiritual motifs like evil eyes, stars, crosses and arrows — have a look that is distinctly their own, and frequently employ stippling and symmetry.
Three Kings Tattoo Brooklyn, 572 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Call (718) 349-7755 or email email@example.com for appointment information.
The OG fashion- and art-scene tattooer, Scott Campbell (who has evolved his craft into fine art in recent years) has worked on some of the industry's most prominent personalities, including Marc Jacobs, Olivier Zahm, Jenne Lombardo, Terry Richardson, Courtney Love and many more. His relationship with Jacobs led to a much-hyped collaboration for Louis Vuitton menswear's spring/summer 2011 show, and he's partnered with a host of different brands — from MAC Cosmetics to Hennessy — in the years since. While getting an appointment with Campbell is not an easy task, his shop Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn employs an impressive roster of artists, including Stephanie Tamez, Virginia Elwood, Michelle Tarantelli and Anderson Luna.
Saved Tattoo, 426 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Email Scampbellwork@gmail.com for appointment information.
With his wacky (and often NSFW) illustrations that depict aliens, astronauts, sex, drugs, violence and the like, Los Angeles-based Sean Williams — aka Sean from Texas — has amassed an impressive following on Instagram (255K, to be exact), as well as a dedicated celebrity and cool kid clientele. His illustrations may look simple, but they're packed with punk attitude.
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With the stick-and-poke becoming an increasingly popular tattoo style, Los Angeles-based Tati Compton has earned lots of attention for her intricate designs. With themes that range from romance to pinups to the occult, Compton recently told Dazed that her aesthetic can be summed up thusly: "Feminine but not girly. Delicate but bold. Organic, like it's meant to be there."
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