Life, Style

Soho House’s best tattoos

Bryony Masters

As tattoos come out for summer, Andy Hill talks trends and tributes with Soho House people

Veteran Hollywood tattoo artist Mark Mahoney has inked celebrities as diverse as Tupac, Sid Vicious, Brooklyn Beckham and Adele. Although he doesn’t much care for trends. “What my customer wants is all that matters. Whether it’s trendy or classical, I don’t care so long as it reflects what’s important to them in their world at that time.” He describes his own style as “religious noir”, blending Catholic iconography with elements of film noir. Although “I do quite like the new, simple bold-line tattoos that are popular right now”.

In keeping with Soho House’s ties to the creative industries, a lot of our people seem to have tattoos. “Mine is on my hand: it’s a dog skull,” says Naiche Jeffs, head barman at Hubbard and Bell. “It’s a tribute to my beloved old Alsatian. Sometimes people who don’t have tattoos ask if I ever get bored of looking at it. Personally, I think a hand with a tattoo is far more interesting than a hand without a tattoo.”

Naiche admits the tattoo “hurt like hell”, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone from going under the needle: “You know how quickly a day goes? I could get another tattoo right now – it might hurt, but I’d be fine again tomorrow.”

And there’s plenty of opportunity to have fun with your body art. “My favourite tattoo was bought for me as a leaving present,” says Soho Works manager Bryony Masters. “It’s on my calf, and reads: Excuse Me, I Am Looking For The Disco That’s me: always looking for the disco.”

The personality of the artist is also key. “My disco one is by a really elusive guy called Maison Hefner,” says Bryony. “In terms of finding the right artist, social media, in particular Instagram, is a massive help. You can sit on your sofa and browse 20 artists’ life work in no time.”

“People approach me to ask who did mine,” says Soho House Design Director Ruth Costello, who’s just had a big leg piece done by London artist Jean Le Roux. “Jean is really in demand, so
I had to wait nine months, but it’s so worth it.”

Ruth admires several current trends in tattooing, like watercolour style and mandala linework, but won’t be dictated to by the whims of fashion. “They’re really cool, just not my thing. Some people have cutting-edge designs that reflect significant memories or moments in their lives. I just like flowers. And birds.”

Mahoney is evangelical about the positive impact a well-crafted tattoo can have: “My first and best friend in California was a guy named Bill. He weighed 450lbs. He loved tattoos, but didn’t have much money. I was a beginner at the time, so I tattooed him all over for nothing. I could see how much it changed the way Bill felt about himself when people stopped him to admire his tattoos. I made zero money, but it was the most enriching job ever.”

Share: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone