Tattoos have always been the preserve of the more daring kids, and while they may be less easy to remove than a pair of shoes you’re tired of, high-quality vintage body art can really take your look to the next level. It’s not just for you rockabilly rebels either, as vintage tattoos have gone mainstream in recent years thanks to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss. Caroline Tosh takes a closer look at some original vintage ink, the classic Sailor Jerry tattoo.


An original greaser and non-conformist, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was an iconic figure at the helm of American tattoo culture.

Collins, with his black, horn-rimmed glasses and pipe, is said to have considered tattoos to be the ultimate act of rebellion against “squares”.

An adventurer, artist, and former sailor, he became fascinated with the local culture and art of Southeast Asia while travelling the world, and later opened a studio in Honolulu’s Chinatown, providing ink to sailors on shore leave.

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