Evie Yapelli's talent for creating charming tattoos featuring Disney characters, Kewpie dolls and other blackwork illustrations rooted in traditional American tattoo style has crossed over to books, enamel pins, paintings and now fashion. The Orange-based artist is teaming up with LA rockabilly-clothing brand Miss Ladybug for an exciting collaboration of retro-inspired attire.
Yapelli and Miss Ladybug designer Nana Miura began their friendship with the tattooer inking some Kewpies on Miura. The two creatives kickstarted a partnership, launching a pair of rolled-up jeans decorated with cutesy '50s-era sock-hop dancers that were based on painted denim pants from the '60s. They expanded into embroidered cardigans and T-shirts with Yapelli's idiosyncratic skulls and cherubic characters—all designed in a minimalist black, white and red color scheme—starting the aptly named "Kewpie Surprise" line.
Although Miura hails from Japan and has a following in Asia, she's a big presence in Southern California, having vended at music festivals such as Ink-N-Iron. Her collection of vintage-inspired clothing with her own colorful, graphic illustrations are loosely influenced by the fashion and artistic design of the 1920s through the 1960s.
When it comes to brainstorming ideas, Yapelli notes, "We have a similar sense of humor and appreciation for things we are drawn to about vintage. [Miura] has a good eye for pulling out my tattoo designs and applying it to fashion."
You can snag your own Kewpie-emblazoned items via the online Miss Ladybug shop (www.missladybugca.com) or, come Sept. 25, at their joint pop-up at Yapelli's Show Pigeon Tattoo studio.
Show Pigeon Tattoo, 2140 W. Chapman Ave., Ste. 120, Orange; www.showpigeon.com.