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New collection Spring Summer 2021 - Discover

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A new lease of life for tattoos

Etched into our skin for thousands of years, tattoos have become artistic as well as aesthetic. A phenomenon that has broken all the boundaries of fashion.

For a long time, tattoos conjured up the tribal images of ancient cultures and exotic peoples, with enormous symbols covering the arms, backs and torsos of Polynesian, Maori and Japanese people, for example. And rightly so: for centuries, tattoos represented a rite of passage, symbols of protection or a sign of belonging to a particular clan or tribe.

Much later, only "yobs" were seen with them, from anchors faded due to saltwater through to skulls adorning bikers' skin and rockers boasting the names of their fiancées. And then, for a while, tattoos gradually started to disappear.

Until the trend took off again around 1990 to 2000. From the shower of tiny stars on the back of Rihanna's neck to the giant words and patterns on David Beckham's body, these permanent markings have become extremely fashionable. The Musée du Quai Branly in Paris hosted an exhibition on tattoos in 2015.

As a way to stand out from the crowd or express your personality, tattoos have become like a second skin. They can be proudly shown off, or reserved for only the most intimate views. This was Aubade's vision for its Aubade Men collection, designing boxers with motifs created by the Sang Bleu tattoo parlour (https://london.sangbleu.tattoo/).