UNIV ERSE founder and creative director Brody Polinsky grew up in rural northern Canada, they spent the 80s and early 90s collecting music and skateboarding through the desolate winter landscape on very little smooth concrete. At that time, Brody was heavily influenced by tattooing via skateboarding and music and was enamored with that potential to physical change and the ritual of that permanency. Skateboarding, music and tattooing provided ways to feel present in the body while surviving in an environment that was unsafe to be both a skateboarder and a queer trans kid. Their life spent in the counterculture helped them stay alive as the self-abuse and addiction were trying to suppress gender. After getting sober in 2002, Brody relocated to Vancouver in 2004 to pursue skateboarding and seek an apprenticeship tattooing and skip winter for good.
“I have skated for over 30 years, it actually 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 originated from their developing awareness that outside solutions will never solve inner problems. It truly stands for the life force that they believe connects every body* and very thing we experience each day.
-OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE-
UNIV ERSE makes art, skateboards, clothing and home deco that 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 underbelly of subcultures and in an industry that is still rife with hyper-masculinity and has mostly straight and/or cis-identifying audiences. Our brand is the conduit between fringe communities without estranging the rest of the world we choose to live in and contribute to.
“I want UNIV ERSE to go beyond only marking the skin permanently – I want UNIV ERSE to perpetuate what I believe in and why, we must act as if we are past inclusivity.”
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 fine art, 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, trans folks, leather folks, s&m folks, musicians, skateboarders, recovery folks, the spiritually seeking, cyclists, vegetarians, motorcyclists – when they all come together, I know it’ll be working right.”
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 offers clothing for every body, genderless, inclusive and accepting of all people.