Bruno Levy is leveraging his career as a tattoo artist for his first fashion label.
Levy, who also works as a multidisciplinary artist and tattoos out of Brooklyn’s Bandit Studio, is releasing his first fashion label, called Cigarettes by Bruno Levy, on Tuesday. The brand marks Levy’s first solo venture in the fashion world after working with brands like Hermès, Adidas, Cole Haan and others on previous projects.
“I’ve been wanting to expand into different mediums,” Levy said about launching the line. “I’ve had a few different careers spanning the course of my lifetime. In some ways, I feel like [Cigarettes] is a way for me to incorporate a lot of things I was interested in.”
Cigarettes offers cardigans, T-shirts, dress shirts, trousers and accessories designed in a graphic and grungy aesthetic. Levy explained the cardigans, which come in a wide range of colors, are the brand’s hero product.
He took inspiration from his time visiting Japan for the style, looking specifically to Japanese bomber jackets. He saw similarities between his work as a tattoo artist and the patchwork detailing on the bomber jackets and wanted to incorporate that into his brand’s cardigans.
“There are a lot of tattoo motifs and placements in the way they were embroidered,” he explained. “I’m predominantly a tattoo artist. The last eight years of my life have been focusing on tattooing and I saw [the jackets] as almost an extension of my tattooing where the placement, the scale and the way they read on the clothing were very similar to the way a tattoo would read on the body.”
It was also important for Levy to create a genderless apparel line to offer options for a broader customer base, one he explained he falls into.
“A lot of the collection, I was trying to make something that anyone would want to wear,” he said. “It wouldn’t be confined to menswear or womenswear because I think for me as a men’s consumer, it’s either everything is really expressive or toned down and it’s hard for me to find something that’s in the middle where I can express myself, but it’s not completely neutral.”
Levy is producing the line on a made-to-order basis to minimize waste and reduce the amount of overstock goods. The line’s T-shirts have already been produced in a small quantity. The brand is available on its website and styles range in price from $60 for a skull-themed candle to $540 for dress shirts.
The tattoo artist said he’s currently working on his next collection, which he hopes to release in June. As he’s committed to minimizing waste, Levy hopes to work more with vintage and deadstock materials for upcoming collections.