“I have skated for over 30 years, it actually saves my life over and over again.”
UNIV ERSE founder and creative director Brody Polinsky grew up in rural northern Canada. Their childhood was spent collecting albums and obsessively skateboarding since the mid 80’s. Brody was next introduced to tattooing, its aesthetics and fine art, then was exposed to the process of permanency through ritual. Skateboarding, music and tattooing provided moments to feel present in the body in an environment that was unsafe to be a queer kid. Immersion in the counterculture served as a way out of self-abuse and addictions. Getting sober in 2002, Brody relocated to Vancouver in 2004 to avoid winter, skate every day, and seek an apprenticeship tattooing.
“I want UNIV ERSE to reach beyond only marking the skin – I want to be accessible to anybody, anywhere, anytime. The singular ritual of tattooing is not everyone’s desire – I want UNIV ERSE to perpetuate radical post inclusivity – When all the people can come together I will know it’s starting to be alright.”
The name UNIV ERSE comes from a somatic recognition that energy connects everybody, past and present, when we let go of control. Brody chased tattooing around the world for many years, seeking the endless creative impulse, accessing what has become the iconic UNIV ERSE aesthetic. In 2013, Brody settled into Berlin, and in 2015, opened their private space UNIV ERSE Studio, ushering queer tattooing into consciousness. Holding space at UNIV ERSE Studio first birthed clothing, second a fine art practice, soon to be skateboards, and next heritage decor. We are perpetuating offline communities through non permanent creative processes you can wear like a suit of spiritual armor, banishing the need for the us against them mentality.
“When I was a kid, and you saw someone else with thrashed shoes, you knew you could approach them, but now you wouldn’t dare. Growing up inside marginalized subcultures is a very othering existence, UNIV ERSE stands up for you.”
Brody’s distinct eye and approach to placement in harmony with the body has become the UNIV ERSE trademark in the world of tattooing. Inherently transferring those values naturally sets honest intention with our clothing. It all has to look good from across the street or the aesthetics are simply out of balance. Our signature logo, P-01 was hand-drawn, as is every tattoo. Then actively transitioned aesthetically onto garments, like an ancient yet modern language. UNIV ERSE offers clothing For Every Body, genderless, deconstructing measurement standards, all inclusive and accepting, you just have to be you.
“Berlin has helped me gravitate towards what I want in life, in love, in friends, and in my creativity – I have the privilege to call this my work – I have found a lot of freedom here and can share it mindfully.”