IT'S 2015 AND temporary tattoos are all the rage– popular fashion brands such as Topshop and Lovisa sell their own variants of this unique self-expression, coined as “skin art” or “skin accessories”. But before these giant chain stores came on the scene, local company Dottinghill was the one of the firsts to sell their designer skin accessories, collaborating with international designers and artists. I still remember seeing them during the inaugural Handmade Movement back in 2013, and how people swarmed over their small booth excited and awed over the designs.
Tammy, one of the co-founders of Dottinghill, shared their beginnings and love for body art. “My husband, Michael, and I came up with the idea to create a crowdsourcing platform for temporary tattoos back in 2010. We were inspired by the series of Chanel branded temporary tattoos on the Spring 2010 fashion shows.”
They felt that use of these “branded” tattoos elevated the status of temporary tattoos, which were often times seen as tacky gimmicks for large corporations or children’s parties. Despite not having any elaborate body art themselves (save for two simple type tattoos), the couple greatly appreciated body art, particularly their beauty and symbolism. With that appreciation also came an understanding that permanency of ink tattoos may not be for everyone.
It took us a long time before deciding to go ahead with each of our tattoos, and I think this is where temporary tattoos definitely come in handy. Temporary fun that can represent the way a person feels on that day.
For Tammy and Michael, the couple behind Dottinghill, it was not a matter of selling their product, but rather a matter of differentiation. This is especially the situation now, where there are exponentially more avenues to obtain fashionable skin accessories than there were in the past. Unique designs and artists are certainly what separates Dottinghill from other players in the market. “We work hard to print designs that are unique and unconventional. We also try to include a good variety of different styles to show people that certain designs can look good on the skin even if it's not common where possible.”
“For example, we love printing the works of agnes-cecile who specialises in watercolor portraits and the two designs we printed from her were well-received.”
Their community continues to grow online, one akin to popular T-shirt design website Threadless, where you can submit and score designs to be recreated as temporary tattoos, and even recommend potential artists. Although the couple is on a short break now, they still keep the future of Dottinghill close to their heart, with wishes to collaborate with more local and international brands and to provide better designs for their customers.
I hope Dottinghill can continue to be a great platform for designers to create interesting art for use on an unconventional medium such as temporary tattoos. To see your artwork on someone else's body can be a pretty cool thing.