Even if you’re not brave enough to have a tattoo, you can still become a walking work of art, thanks to Oliver Sweeney. The brand – known for its sleek, contemporary men’s shoes – caused quite a stir with its “ink” during last year’s X Factor shows, when Gary Barlow flaunted a pair of brogues with “Vote Marcus” tattooed on the side and a portrait of the Liverpudlian singer he was mentoring drawn underneath. (Cue the “sole singer” puns.)
Now, thanks to a series of pop-up events at Oliver Sweeney stores and concessions in London and Leeds, the resident tattooist is back and available to decorate every pair of formal Sweeney shoes purchased during the promotion. It’s a complimentary service (with formal shoes costing £199 to £350).
The artist will accommodate most requests and is always up for a challenge, so personally significant designs, dates and names can all be dealt with, usually on the spot – though certain designs will inevitably involve too much work to be done immediately, in which case the finished shoes will be sent on to the client at a later date. If you’re stuck for ideas, peruse Oliver Sweeney’s extensive set of images; some of the most popular include the London skyline, which seems a great way both to step out in style and to celebrate the city in 2012.
As with skin tattoos, the ink will fade over time, but it is permanent. Unlike skin tattoos, however, we can’t imagine your mother will get too hot under the collar about these.