The Best Coveteur Tattoos

Nick Wooster, Olivia Kim & more dish on their first tat and their most meaningful ink. 

By: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

We think it would be fair to say that a lot of the editors, singers, models and actors you see on Coveteur are storytellers in a lot of ways. Bear with us for a minute. By the time we actually get to the house of, say, Jayne Min or Chelsea Leyland, we usually find they have a whole lot more going on than just clothes (we mean, their clothes are still a big deal, dont get us wrong), like, say, their beauty cabinets, book shelves, refrigerators, and oh, their tattoos.

We stand firmly by the belief that a permanent ink drawing on one’s exposed skin says a lot about who you are. And through the anthropological research that is our job, we’ve found that the tattoo-bearing bunch are a notable crew. Not that they can be grouped all together, but they certainly have many interesting stories to tell and no problems with spilling them. So, in order to benefit our collective curiosity, we decided to ask some of the Cov-alums with the most striking ink to let us in on their first piece and their favorites, while our resident tattoo artist chimes in on the craziest requests he’s ever had and the most common. We consider the latter required viewing for the next time you feel the itch to get a piece of your own.

“I once had a guy ask for a yield sign around his anus—people are weird.” —Luke Wessman, Tattoo Artist

“All my tattoos do have meanings and some meanings are more obvious than others. Sometimes the time, place or artist when receiving one can be just as (or more) important then the actual image tattooed. I’ve gotten tattooed for heartbreak, love, death, friendship, art, crews, neighborhoods, girlfriends, luck and travels. I always say my memories and my tattoos will be my most prized possessions when I’m old. I’ve been tattooed by over 50 different tattoo artists in over 10 countries—it is by far the most expensive suit you could ever buy, but it’s one of a kind.” —Luke Wessman, Tattoo Artist

“My left wrist reads ‘I got you’ and my right says ‘We got each other.’ This is something that my closest friends and I say to one another. I have a very small, tight group of friends and sisters, whom I love dearly. They keep me level-headed. I have them, and, well, they have me.” —Katie Cassidy, Actor & Fashion Blogger

“[I got] my first tattoo when I was 15—it wasn’t by Mark [Mahoney]. It was a dragon on my leg. Well, it was on my calf at the time and now it’s on my ankle because I grew. It was done down the street at [a] place called Tattoo Mania.” —Dr. Woo, Tattoo Artist

“[I will not tattoo] anything that is negative or that you can tell the person hasn’t really thought about and will probably be a negative impact on their life. I won’t do any face tattoos. I think [the Drake tattoo] was poor judgment by the artist. They were not able to adhere to some sort of responsibility for the person who obviously couldn’t think for herself. I don’t think any tattoo community thought that was a good idea.” —Dr. Woo, Tattoo Artist

“The first [tattoo] was the hardest to pick. It’s a diamond with two birds and an anchor. It had to have so much meaning, and now I just walk in and pick something on the spot depending on the artist and what he’s good at and the shape of the space I want to fill. The most painful [tattoo] was the spider web on my elbow.” —Douglas Friedman, Photographer

“My favorite tattoo is a dagger with a snake wrapped around it on my forearm. I got it when I moved to NYC [when I was] around eighteen or nineteen. I got it at before I linked up with Scott Campbell, who has done most of my work. Recently I have been going to Dr. Woo at Mark Mahoney’s in L.A. I love the tiny rose he etched on me. I’m hoping someone can give me a stick and poke soon.” —Jenne Lombardo, Founder of The Terminal Presents & Co-Founder of MADE Fashion Week

“There are no stories [behind my tattoos]… I just like the way they look. My first was in 1993—it’s a classic sailor tattoo with a heart, dagger and ‘MOM,’ on my left bicep. My last one was started in 2009 on my right leg. I will never finish it. It’s way too painful and I’m a pussy.” —Nick Wooster, Free Agent

“I forget about the tattoos until someone asks me about them! The first tattoo I got was a butterfly on my stomach when I was 14 and a freshman in high school. A friend of mine who was a senior drove me to some shady place in the-middle-of-nowhere New Jersey, and when we walked in, the first thing he asked was, [if I was] 18. I said yes, of course—it didn’t take much convincing. My favorite tattoos are the stick-and-poke ones that one of my best friends, Jen, has given me. They are imperfect and funny and spontaneous. I think that’s what makes them so special. She gave me a flower and one of the petals is not finished because we were late meeting other friends for dinner. I also have a dog bone on my arm. Random.” —Olivia Kim, Director of Creative Projects, Nordstrom

“I got the tattoos you can see when I was 19. I say ‘the ones you can see’ because I have some others that are hidden. I’ve always loved tattoos since I was little because my father had several on his arms. I just wanted something that marked a moment, a state of mind; [skin is] a canvas to paint, so here is my pattern. But please, don’t ask me the meaning, I won’t reveal it to anyone.” —Eleonora Carisi, Blogger

“The first tattoo I ever got was a stick-and-poke happy face on my knee from a friend when I was in high school. Nowadays, I tend to put a bit more thought into my tattoos. My arm tattoos are very meaningful to me. They tell the story of my life from when I lived in New York until now. Lucy Hu from My Tattoo is a brilliant artist who pays attention to the details. I just took a stack of photos and dropped them on her desk and she took over from there.” —Norel Mancuso, President & CEO of Social House Inc.

“My tattoos, I love. I’m obsessed with bionic stuff, and when I was a little kid I thought Superman was real, so I always thought, hey, he’s going to come. [I was also] inspired by turn-of-the-century Paris, the 1920s and the Industrial Revolution. There are trains and wheels and locomotion and stuff like that.” —Anh Co Tran, Hairstylist

“I’ve got tattoos and I smoke like a truck driver.” —Kelly Osbourne, Actor, Author, Musician & Designer

“I started getting tattoos a long time ago, when tattoos were part of a scene I wanted to integrate [into]. As a teen, you want to belong somewhere, and I thought I belonged there... The first tattoo I got was from City and Colour’s first EP, there’s a blue rose on there and I got the same one done on my ribs. I can’t believe I just told you guys that.” —Béatrice Martin, Singer-Songwriter

“The main benefit of being heavily tattooed is that nobody notices the bad ones. I started getting tattooed as a teenager. I have some I don’t like, but none that I really regret. It’s a sort of road map to my life. I had my knuckles tattooed in my mid 20s as a symbol of pride.” —J. Colby Smith, Piercer at New York Adorned

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