During his tenure at the downtown tattoo hotspot New York Adorned, J. Colby Smith has built up a cult following that includes some of the city’s most stylish folks. When he isn’t piercing top models and editors, he’s busy designing for them, creating rose-gold necklaces and 14K-gold septum chains under his 108 jewelry label.
As for his own look, he keeps it pretty simple, generally sticking to great denim pieces and plaid button-up shirts. All the better for showing off his aggregation of body-covering tattoos and piercings.
What inspires your style?
A combination of not letting go of my childhood angst and trying to age gracefully. I’d call it “sporty grunge.”
When did you get your first piercing? What was it?
I was 13, and it was my tongue.
What piece of clothing or accessory do you never leave home without?
My Uniform Wares watch. Living in such a technical age, I love the idea of analog and the sophistication of a timepiece. So simple yet so complicated, which is the perfect metaphor for myself.
Where do you find the best style in the city?
Nolita—everyone looks exclusive.