Ampere bra and underwear; Uranium body chain; Bones and Feathers bracelet; stylist’s own bracelets and ring; model’s own heels, rings and headbands.
Cindy Crawford is recognized for her mole, Angelina Jolie has those lips, and Pam Anderson has, well, it’s pretty obvious. Freyja Veda, though, has more than a few defining characteristics. For starters: At 6’5″ in heels, she could post up Dikembe Mutombo. When she walked into INKED’s office—heads turned quicker than they do when someone brings in a box of doughnuts. “I think being tall takes people aback,” she says. “That is a lot of tattooed Amazon coming at you.”
This Amazon, who is actually Canadian, co-owns Golden Axe Tattoo in London, Ontario, with Dane Snyder. Is she a giant walking billboard for the shop? Yes and no. “I don’t just get tattooed at my shop. I collect from many minds,” she says. “The quality of my work does act as a beacon to those wayward folks in town. Having fine work represents that you care, and have the knowledge to know what a shop should be putting out these days. It’s definitely indicative of what we do here.”
Ampere underwear; Bones and Feathers necklace; Uranium bracelet; model’s own heels, rings and headbands.
In addition to owning the shop, she models. “I was in department store catalogs as a child, but never modeled as an adult until I was tattooed,” she says. Although she does all types of modeling work, her personal preference is pinup. “I was always a Bettie Page fan. I loved how campy she was at the same time as being a sultry sexual deviant,” she says. “I am a jokester and a deviant myself. I love being naked—it’s so natural and primal. I thoroughly enjoy tight, ultra-flattering posing—it’s very satisfying to amplify your body’s angles and nuances into something out of the norm. That feeling that makes someone stop in their tracks.”
Skingraft leather harness; Journelle slip; stylist’s own bracelet; model’s own heels, rings and headbands.
Her other distinguishing feature, which pushes her height past regulation doorframes, is the bouquet of dreadlocks that explodes from the top of her head, hanging every which way it pleases, sort of like the tentacles of an octopus. “The dreads were something I did over a decade ago on a whim,” Freyja says. “I never embraced my Cher-fro as a child, and was looking for a way out that didn’t involve constant chemicals. In hindsight I could have rocked a bodacious Afro like my mother always did.”
American Apparel bodysuit; model’s own heels, rings and headbands.
Her tattoos include a burning church by Uncle Allan and a cobra sleeve by Jeff Zuck, who is also working on her other arm. “I plan on covering this skin car I drive around until there is nothing left, including head, and partial face,” she says. “My canvas is ever evolving, much like the industry we live in.” But her signature tattoo is a kraken, whose beak circles her belly button and whose tentacles wrap up her chest and circle her breasts. “It’s my gorgeous Mike Austin torso piece!” she says. “I wanted something huge and gnarly that flowed with my curves, and what better than tentacles? I’m super stoked on it. People actually recognize me by it now. It is a weird experience to have people run up to me at a convention with my boobs as their iPhone wallpaper and hold it up to me and shout, “It’s her!”
But she can handle it. Prior to her photo shoot, Veda was prancing around the INKED conference room topless while she tried on clothes. A hapless guy walked in by accident, and ran off apologizing profusely. “It’s okay,” Veda yelled after him. “They are all over the internet.” That’s her dynamic personality: bigger and more impressive than any of her other features.