Benoît wears, Bakers Chore Jacket In Sand Recycled Nylon Tech, Naval Hat In Navy Aero Wax Cotton, Bakers Overshirt In Indigo Herringbone Denim, Square Pocket Shirt In Blue Classic Shirting, Fatigue Pant In Light Olive Twill, shoe models own.
Having started as a professional tattoo artist 6 years ago, Benoît’s career is more of a calling than a simple vocation. “Tattooing drew me to it, like a planet with a very strong gravitational pull,” he explains. And this conviction has stood him in good stead. He’s now the co-owner of Bisous Bisous, a tattoo parlour in the east of the city, close to the iconic Père Lachaise cemetery. Avoid the endless droves of moody teenagers flocking to the final resting places of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, and you’ll discover a brilliant little studio with a stellar reputation.
As a longtime Royalcheese customer (who you’ll remember from chapter one of the Paris series), Benoît attributes his success partly to the example set him by the beloved clobber emporium and its indefatigable founder, Catherine Yousfi. “Royalcheese is my home, my family, and a key experience in my life. Catherine – I know she'll blush when I say this – but she's a bit like a second mum to me. She's helped me a lot, and I know I couldn't do my job without her. The way we work at Bisous is similar to Royalcheese, it makes sense. I have a lot of respect for her and everything she's taught me. She's a really strong and inspiring person.”
A bit like his compatriots in the rag trade and the sign-painting business, Benoît’s approach to his own work revolves around a love of craft, and a strong belief in doing things properly. “I don't think I'm really trying to stand out in the industry, there are others who can do that better than me. Everyone has their area, their style, and mine is that of traditional tattooing. It’s all the work done by the old tattoo artists that’s the code and soul of this style, and it's ultimately about keeping that alive.”
Tattoo artist probably isn’t the first job that springs to mind when a parent thinks about their child’s career (the civil service would be more likely), but Benoît is lucky to have very supportive parents. So much so that his dad recently stopped by Bisous Bisous as a customer, and received his very first tattoo. As Benoît puts it, “it was a strong family moment, and I’m honoured that he supported me.” Time to roll up your sleeves, lads!