On Wednesday night at West Hollywood’s uber-chic Maxfield store, famed tattoo artist Brian Woo, aka Dr. Woo, debuted his inaugural collection for Converse. With Brooklyn Beckham, Susan Sarandon, Zoe Kravitz and more among the “collectors” of his body art, as he refers to them, the 36-year-old artist has amassed a huge fan base, with over 1.3 million followers on Instagram alone.
Is it hard to get an appointment with the good doctor? You bet. Arguably the most sought-after time slot in Los Angeles, Dr. Woo tattoos at Hideaway at Suite X in Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel. Located right on Hollywood Boulevard, the by-appointment-only studio opened in November to much fanfare. His intricate designs are a feast for the eyes and break all the “traditional” rules of typical tattooing. The gray-scale, fine-line pieces are for “collectors, fashion, music and art,” he explains, “a lot of them are people that are willing to get tattooed because of the subtleness of it.”
Decked out in a customized Barbour trench and his hyper-limited leather Chuck 70s, Dr. Woo was surrounded by friends and well-wishers at the release party. A personally tattooed, signed and numbered pair of Chuck 80s in leather, retailing for $1,095, went on sale to celebrate the collection.
The more accessible Converse x Dr. Woo shoes, $180, available in black and white with spider embroidery, are meant to be worn “till they are destroyed.” Expect the texture to get rough, ripped and fuzzy, completely personalized by your lifestyle — perfect for those who admire the worn-in, destroyed look that skateboarding gives to shoes. The kicks aren’t meant to sit in a box (looking at you, sneaker heads), but instead are designed to be out and about, building a story through wear and tear, he says.
When designing the shoe, Dr. Woo had his fashionable fans in mind, but ultimately he tried to stay true to his style ethos. “I wasn’t caring what other people think,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, “instead asking, ‘Would I f**k with this?'”
The finished product is not your usual collaboration where an artist merely sends in artwork, but a reworked version of the iconic Converse Chuck 70, made famous in the ‘70s as a basketball shoe. The spider and fly, part of his Woo logo, create a strong focal point, conjuring memories of doodling on one’s sneakers in high school.
Converse x Dr. Woo tattooed, signed and numbered hyper-limited edition of leather Chuck 70s; $1,095, available at Maxfield. Converse x Dr. Woo; $180, will be available globally from Converse.com beginning Jan. 20.