If you try to count how many alternative apparel brands developed from a seedling of an idea for Mother’s Day, chances are you’ll only have one: InkAddict. Co-owner Nathan Martin wanted to give his mom a thoughtful, personalized gift: a t-shirt with his tattoo on it. This was back in 2007 and no one else was doing that sort of thing, so he and his former roommate/now co-owner, Jim Doyon, decided to make it a thing and make it happen. It all started in their basement and now InkAddict is one of the big players in alternative lifestyle clothing, with people traveling both to conventions and to their computer or phone to buy InkAddict apparel.
Family Driven Values
Martin and Doyon’s original concept was to be able to wear your tattoo on your clothes, with “Wear Your Skin” as their original company slogan. It didn’t take long for their concept to develop into something grander than a t-shirt company; it became a lifestyle brand that speaks to all tattoo enthusiasts and the culture surrounding alternative lifestyles. Like other alternative apparel brands, InkAddict created a place for self-expression by way of fashion, but it goes without saying that this Midwestern brand has a style that stands out from the others.
One of greatest things about InkAddict is the tight-knit community amongst the owners, artists, models… basically everyone involved with the company. According to an Inked Magazine interview with Martin, it’s not about “any single person or idea – rather it’s a collaboration of individuals striving to put out a good product and make a difference.” InkAddict sponsors 15 artists and before a new artist is added to the group, they consult one another. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the art that they create; it’s about the artists and being able to facilitate an environment that fosters their creativity.
“Wear Your Skin” Tastefully
This care and attention is clearly reflected in the products InkAddict puts out, with a style that is bold in an understated way. They stated that effective branding is what makes companies last in their interview with Inked Magazine, and they’ve managed to successfully become an internationally recognized brand with a focus on their brand and logo. InkAddict merchandise consists of two types: their brand/logo items and graphic artist pieces. Their brand/logo items are clean and simple, but manage to still leave an imprint. The Ink Lines shirt shown above is a perfect example of how they take something basic and make it their own. The logo is printed on the front and the hood in a gradient line pattern that is accentuated with the contrasting sleeves. The Ink Stack tee on the left also shows how a simple design can be visually stimulating and impressive without having to be extreme. Hip In Detroit’s interview with Martin and Doyon confirms this: they wanted to offer “something more than just huge all over prints but something with simple designs that allow an individual to express themselves without being obnoxious.”
InkAddict graphic print items also stay true to this message. “The Fox” racer-back tank for women features an elegant design by Matt Hockaday with lettering from Big Meas, renowned tattoo artists in the Midwest. The design is only just one of the awesome things about this tank top – the quality is top-notch, too. It’s printed on a lightweight stretch material with a draped silhouette, making it absolutely comfortable to wear especially when the days start getting hot.
We’re All InkAddicts
When it comes to “tattoo enthusiasts”, Jim Doyon said it best: “the fan who surfs right past the Golf channel to watch extreme sports. You know, the fan who loves seeing bands at shows way more than at concerts. You know, the person who supports local music in Detroit one night and then again in Cleveland the next. ‘Detroit’ can be any city—your city; ‘Cleveland’ is whatever city is the next night. The city changes; the enthusiast doesn’t. Always an ink addict.”
If it’s anyone that understands the tattoo enthusiast, the ink addict, the alternative lifestyle, it’s us right here at Painful Pleasures. Our site lets you conveniently look at all our InkAddict items in one place. Accessorize with a hat or maybe you want to be even more subtle by wearing their socks. Whichever way you choose to show your love for InkAddict, just keep on keepin’ on because their brand is something to proudly wear.