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The Brand

CHAPTER 13 PT. 2: DIVERSITY

Dr. Marten’s place within tattoo culture is far more obvious and also long-standing than the brand’s more recent acceptance within fine tailoring. DM’s have long been known for complimenting the unique styles of individuals from different subcultures, and go hand in hand with the art of tattooing: the ultimate form of self-expression. We talked to some famous tattoo artists below about their relationship with Dr. Martens: 
 

Phil Kyle
Phil Kyle
 
 
Phil Kyle owns Magnum Opus Tattoo in Brighton, UK and is regarded as one of the most accomplished and sought-after tattoo artists in the world: ‘Dr. Martens and tattoo culture do go hand-in-hand, as tattooing is the King of all subcultures, across all styles and types. Punks, Metalheads, Bikers, Skinheads, Ska, Rude Boys and more have all got tattoos that represent who they are. And nothing tops it off better then a pair of DM’s. I have done several DM’s tattoos over the years within these subcultures. It’s quite an iconic thing to get done.’ 
 
Lou Hopper
Lou Hopper
 
 
Lou Hopper is a renowned tattoo artist with a close allegiance to Dr. Martens: ‘I remember even as a kid, from about the age of six, I always wanted a pair of cherry red DM’s but it wasn’t something my parents could afford, so my first pair were hand-me-downs from one of my older cousins who had grown out of them. I was about ten years old and have worn DM’s ever since, they are still my daily choice. In my opinion, DM’s and tattoo culture are definitely closely aligned. Although DM’s are hugely popular within most social groups, they have always been particularly popular with alternative subcultures, many members of whom crossover into tattoo culture through their music and love of an alternative image.’  
 
Check out other posts from the Dr. Martens book ‘A History of Rebellious Self-Expression’ here