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Legendary tattoo artist Dr. Woo on his Venice

Nov 09, 2023

The sought-after Los Angeles tattoo artist tells Wallpaper* about his ‘Dreamed by Dr. Woo’ collection for Golden Goose, a collaboration which began on the waterways of Venice

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In partnership with Golden Goose

This past May, the floating city of Venice was transformed into a creative playground for cult Italian luxury brand Golden Goose to celebrate the inauguration of its ‘HAUS of Dreamers’ project. Coinciding with the 18th Architecture Biennale, the multi-disciplinary project invited a raft of international creatives to respond to Venice’s distinct iconography in a series of immersive performances – from a poetry reading delivered atop the Rialto Bridge to a dramatic candlelit musical performance at The Venice Venice Hotel.

‘HAUS of Dreamers is coming from the need of people to become culture and not only to read about or buy culture,’ Silvio Campara, Golden Goose’s CEO, told Wallpaper* at the time. Creative participants included Italian architect Fabio Novembre, Native American land protector and model Quannah Chasinghorse, South Korean singer and musician SUNMI, British actress Suki Waterhouse, and Los Angeles tattooist Dr. Woo. The last – who created a fabric-draped room complete with custom porcelain ‘to evoke the skin and bone of the city’ – continues his journey with Golden Goose this month with a special collection inspired by the project.

‘Dreamed by Dr. Woo’ collection for Golden Goose

‘It was incredible – I’ve never been to Venice before, and to step foot into this unique city under the circumstances of our project together was the best way to see the city,’ says Dr. Woo, who is known as Los Angeles’ most sought-after tattooist, with clients including Zoe Kravitz, Drake and G-Dragon (as of now he also has over two million devoted followers on Instagram). ‘The project was to celebrate Venice as a creative hub and use the spirit of the city in our own creative practices, with our own design aesthetic and visuals. The room encapsulated my style with the background and craftsmanship of the city.’

The inspirations included Venetian damask, a form of the jacquard fabric which is synonymous with the city. The hand-drawn decorations that adorned the room’s fabrics and porcelain – spanning flowers, celestial motifs, spiders, lions and birds – recalled at once the Renaissance splendour of the city and Dr. Woo’s own contemporary tattooing practice. ‘I found the Venetian damask really inspiring, a strong, iconic voice,’ he says, having visited traditional damask weaving mills in the city. ‘I have a lot of respect for the process of making it; what I do can be tedious and repetitive too.’

‘Dreamed by Dr. Woo’ collection for Golden Goose

The new collection comprises three limited-edition items: a ‘lived-in’ collegiate sweater, a version of the house’s Super Star sneaker and a porcelain plate (of the latter, just 85 will be produced). Each features Dr. Woo’s distinct motifs – including embroidered versions on the sweater – reflecting those which appeared in the original project. Of the extension into homeware, Dr. Woo says he wanted ‘to spread the feelings and emotions [of the project] off the canvas. That’s why [with the plate] we wanted them integrated on vessels for community – engaging across the table of food together was a great way to communicate.’

As for why he was chosen for the project, Dr. Woo believes it is because he is a ‘Dreamer’ – a value central to Golden Goose since its founding in Venice in 2000. ‘I approach life with curiosity and the understanding that dreams can unfold themselves if you let them, using creativity and artistry – I think the Golden Goose family recognised that.’

‘Dreamed by Dr. Woo’ in collaboration with Golden Goose is available at and select stores and wholesalers globally.

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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.

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In partnership with Golden Goose