From outlaw to icon, owner and tattoo artist of the Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood, Mark Mahoney has been on the forefront of the industry, well before tattoos became trendy. Mahoney is now collaborating his hard-rock talents to Paul Smith’s label, known for its florid prints and sharply tailored suits. “The result is a capsule collection that takes iconography borrowed from the tattoo world’s visual lexicon and applies it to T-shirts, hoodies, and, most impressively, tailored garments like blazers,” Max Berlinger writes for GQ.
“I’ve always thought tattoos were high-fashion and for people on the cutting edge,” Mahoney said in the article. “Some people, when I meet them, don’t believe I’m a tattoo artist… overdressed and underpaid.”
While Sir Paul doesn’t have any tattoos himself, he met Mahoney at a party a year ago, expressing admiration for the art form. “What I’ve loved about them is their artistic quality,” Smith said. “Mark’s work is so refined, it’s so gentle, I just thought it could translate really well into embroidery.”
The collection features classic tattoo imagery, like the sailors’ swallow, panther, and hands across the seas, transforming the already-done-tattoo-inspired fashion into a more classic, unique look. Their line of blazers, hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, scarves, leather Chelsea boots featuring tonal embroideries, is beautiful, unexpected and eye-drawing.
Mahoney, considered the founding father of black and grey tattoos with a single needle, has tattooed bikers, vagabonds and all in between for decades (including Chrissy Teigen's father, Ron Teigen Sr., Kelly Osbourne, Johnny Depp and David Beckham).
“[Tattoos] definitely weren’t always socially acceptable,” Mahoney said. “It was much more underground, and in some ways, I miss that. But in another way, I’m just glad that now everyone can experience a tattoo and how good it makes you feel.”