n the past year the tattoo has made several triumphant appearances on the runway. In the spring 2010 collections we saw trompe l’oeil garters at Chanel and full-body tribal markings at Rodarte. More recently, Scott Campbell inked the models at Louis Vuitton’s spring 2011 menswear show with elaborate, exotic reconfigurations of symbols from the Chinese zodiac, and, of course, the LV monogram. For those who want their designs permanent but perhaps aren’t keen on marking their actual bodies, living legend Horiyoshi III has turned his artistry to a line of luxury leisurewear in collaboration with entrepreneur Steve Suk, a long-time devotee who first discovered the Japanese master at the age of 14, sighting his work pinned on the walls of his local tattoo parlor in Vancouver. Suk has spent much of the past five years having Horiyoshi work on a full body tattoo: "The small tattoos I received in the West would never be adequate, and would never look the same as a tattoo done by him,” he says. Suk spotted a gap in the market for refined clothing that appealed to both the tattoo subculture and the fashion world, and teamed-up with his ink guru to present the first Horiyoshi the Third
collection in March 2009. This high-end streetwear—shot here by Johnnie Shand Kydd
—comprises Japan-manufactured T-shirts, cashmere cardigans, slinky knot-front blouses, tunic dresses and generous scarves made with the finest yarn imported from Italy. Every piece is decorated with seasonal motifs, such as a tiger among maple leaves for fall or cherry blossoms for spring. The line also features expertly detailed, chunky jewelry in silver and gold, incorporating tattoo motifs like skulls and dragons.