When fashion companies try their hand at tattoo inspired prints, it can go one of two directions. The end result could be a beautiful rendition of body art inspired design, much like the Saira Hunjan for Tod’s collaboration in which she actually tattooed the bags’ leather using a real machine. It could also go horribly awry, and end up as a shittily manufactured mass produced Zara print on the back of a bomber jacket that lacks any sort of real style. When it comes to the marriage of tattoo art and fashion, it’s best to leave it to the professionals, and hire someone that actually knows what they’re doing, you know, like an actual tattoo artist. It’s the reason the Tods x Hunjan collaboration worked so flawlessly, and it’s the main reason why so many sneaker houses have collaborated with renowned artists like Joey Pang and Ichibay to create beautiful, wearable art. A new up and coming clothing company, 36 Ghosts, knows this all too well, and much like their predecessors opts to collaborate with famed tattoo artists to create magnificent body art inspired prints and ensure authenticity.
Inspired by ukiyo-e, a Japanese style of printmaking that involves hand carving wood blocks, 36 Ghosts is a men’s sweatshirt line that employs the help of tattoo artists around the world for their knowledge of their craft. “From the paintings to the prints, from the fabric to the final stitch, every 36 Ghosts garment is a work of art that reflects the energy of those who created it and those who wear it,” a mission statement on the brand's website reads.
Collaborating with artists like Andrew Connor, Brian Bruno, Timothy Hoyer, and Joel Long, the brand derives its’ style from the traditional Japanese style of tattooing. Incorporating traditional iconography like tigers, dragons, phoenixes, and a shipwrecked woman, each print featured on the brand’s sweatshirts is completely original.
Boasting four original sweatshirts, and retailing for $95 each, 36 Ghosts says that it plans on expanding their wares to include men’s shirts as well. While it’s unclear whether or not the brand has any plans to expand to women’s clothing or other types of garments, we can only hope that they continue to “[blur] the line between art and fashion” by expanding their reach. Here’s to hoping.