UNIV ERSE founder and creative director Brody Polinsky grew up in rural northern Canada, spending the late 80s and early 90s collecting music and skateboarding through the desolate landscape on little to no concrete. At that time, Brody got into tattooing and was exposed to the process of permanency. Skateboarding, music and tattooing provided ways to feel present in the body in an environment that was unsafe to be both a skateboarder and queer. The counterculture led to a life of self-abuse and addiction, but also served as a way out of it again.
After getting sober in 2002, Brody relocated to Vancouver in 2004 to pursue skateboarding and seek an apprenticeship tattooing.
“I have skated for 30 years, and it saved my life.”
Tattooing provided Brody with the opportunity to travel the world and hone in on what has become the iconic UNIV ERSE aesthetic celebrated by enthusiastic, like-minded pioneers from around the globe. In 2013, Brody moved to Berlin, and in 2015, opened UNIV ERSE Studio. The name UNIV ERSE came from a recognition that outside solutions will never solve inside life situations. It stands for a life force that connects every body*.
UNIV ERSE skateboards and clothing are an answer to the cry for more outwardly queer spaces and creative processes that push past just word of mouth. This cry comes from within the queer underbelly of subcultures and in an industry that is still rife with hyper-masculinity and has mostly straight and/or cis-identifying audiences.
“I want UNIV ERSE to go beyond marking skin permanently –– I want UNIV ERSE to perpetuate inclusivity.”
Our brand connects the dots between fringe communities.
All of our designs are made at home in Berlin and handcrafted to the highest industry standards in Italy. Inspired by the rough-around-the-edges, DIY mindset to skateboarding Brody grew up with – our clothes are built to last. At UNIV ERSE we create skateboards, high-end sportswear, home goods and textiles. We design clothes for every body*. We want our style to represent the subcultures within the subcultures – we want everyone to feel comfortable about their lifestyle without fear or insecurities. When we walk out the door each day we have the chance to wear our inside on the outside.
“Queer folks, leather folks, s&m folks, musicians, skateboarders, clean and sober folks, the spiritually seeking, cyclists, vegetarians, motorcyclists –– when they come together, I know it’ll be working.”
Brody brings a keen eye and attention to detail that has become the UNIV ERSE trademark in the world of tattooing. Our signature logo, P-01, was hand-drawn and harkens to the iconic style.
Berlin is the queerest city on earth, and we love to call it home. This city consistently continues to surprise and inspire us.
“BERLIN has helped me to figure out what I want in life, in love, and in my creative expression which I have the privilege to call work.. I have found a lot of freedom here in all of those things.”
UNIV ERSE Skateboards offers clothing for every body, genderless, inclusive and accepting of all people.