Fashion’s Favorite Tattoo Artist Is Inking A New Chapter

Brian Woo, a.k.a. Dr. Woo, a.k.a. “Woo” to those in the know, is sitting amongst a dizzying array of art and ephemera in his studio at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel: A multimedia sculpture from his pal Nick van Woert is perched subsequent to Sesame Avenue dolls made by the artist KAWS and opposite a fiberglass chair Woo created with Los Angeles furnishings business Modernica. “I often experienced a imaginative scope exactly where nothing actually landed in just just one medium,” Woo points out, tugging at a Goro’s necklace—“a superior, under-the-cut strike,” he claims of the cult­ish piece of jewellery he scored at the late Goro Takahashi’s Harajuku retailer.

The medium for which he is most effective regarded, of system, is pores and skin, and his operate seems on some of the world’s most famed: Cara Delevingne’s rib, Miley Cyrus’s bicep, Bella Hadid’s shoulder, Justin Bieber’s neck. Woo’s tattoos are elegant and hyperrealistic. Striking in depth and element, they regularly merge the graphic and the natural and organic. “Anything that has a contrasted visual duality is cool to me,” he claims, “like how Mexico City is this wonderful metropolis engulfed in a jungle.” His trim-needle artistry was cultivated in excess of 12 years at Shamrock Social Club, Sunset Boulevard’s storied tattoo parlor, and it has arguably improved tattoos from emblems of punk insubordination to ubiquitous extras that are typically accumulated like dainty parts of lasting great artwork. “There is no a single like him in the earth,” stylist Karla Welch clarifies of Woo, whom she met through Bieber and who etched a basic safety pin on the within of her wrist, a symbol of the place her everyday living has taken her. Bieber’s wife, Hailey, is also a lover. “As I have figured out around the a long time what I like, I have gotten substantially more particular when I get a new tattoo and I just trust that Dr. Woo is gonna nail it just about every time,” Bieber claims.

“He’s also an truthful particular person and truly awesome,” provides Sacai creative director Chitose Abe, who commissioned Woo to refresh Jean Paul Gaultier’s ’90s-period tattoo shirts when she was tapped by the French residence to helm its fall 2021 couture assortment previously this 12 months. Woo’s chains, eyes, orbs, angels, and swooping birds have been printed on to jersey-base layers, which allowed spiderwebs and angel wings to peek out from beneath Abe’s blazers and dresses. “I knew he would reimagine Gaultier’s designs in a present day and classy way,” Abe claims of Woo, whose private design and style mixes all set-to-don heavyweights, minimal-operate streetwear, discerning Japanese labels, and classic accessories.

Sacai resourceful director Chitose Abe commissioned Woo to refresh Jean Paul Gaultier’s ’90s-era tattoo shirts for the house’s drop 2021 couture assortment. 

A gown from Abe’s Gaultier couture selection with Woo’s styles showcasing chain, eyes, orbss, angels, and swooping birds.

“How do I just take a thing so basic and make it different?” Woo routinely asks himself. It’s a dilemma that is the crux of Projectwoo, a improvement studio that he recently debuted alongside a significantly less-is-extra skin-treatment line. The collection features a light, a few-ingredient cleaning soap, a green tea–infused every day moisturizer, a lip balm, and a tattoo aftercare treatment that “is fantastic for any individual, no matter whether you have tattoos or not,” notes Woo, who as soon as struggled with sensitive pores and skin and allergic reactions, conditions that built it tough to care for his possess tattoos when he begun amassing them as a teen. Following yr, Projectwoo will release a fragrance-free sunscreen that does not depart at the rear of a white solid. It follows a body wash, frivolously scented with eucalyptus and citrus, that the model just dropped in collaboration with Japanese shower-towel brand name Goshi, “not so a lot for the tattoos that you just acquired, but for the types you have experienced for decades, to aid exfoliate in the shower and make them pop,” he states.

Woo stays hyper-selective about his collaborations getting uncovered to be cautious of oversaturation at Shamrock Social Club. “In that shop, I observed famous people fizzle authentic brief, mainly because every little thing was about chasing that a person extra minute. I do not want to burn out,” he states of in search of new and intriguing strategies to leverage his artistry. This spring, soon after a decade of developing an impressive Hollywood client roster, the 40-year-old father of two will get his individual taste of the market when he voices a character based on his younger self in HBO Max’s Chinos, a new animated series about two Chinese American young ones that Woo formulated with comedian Eddie Huang. “ ‘Dr. Woo: Celeb Tattoo Artist’ has been the tagline for 10 years now,” he states. “I’m just on the lookout for a newer way to inform the story.”