Tattoos: Branded With a Brand

Peter McBride can take off his polo shirt and maintain his preppy image. McBride, 22, has a Polo pony tattooed on his chest. The idea came to him as he was waiting in line behind a man at a D.C. tattoo parlor: "I noticed his polo shirt and made my decision." McBride's whimsy notwithstanding, his decision is increasingly common. Gaje Pou, a New York City tattoo artist, says getting inked with designer or corporate logos is "definitely getting more acceptable." Logo requests range from Chanel and Gucci to Windows and PlayStation.

Are these decisions rashly made? Pou says he doesn't judge his clientele, but just down the street, a tattoo artist who goes only by the name Ennis says a man recently came in with a Lacoste crocodile on his neck. "He wanted it off," says Ennis. "He didn't say why. He just said get rid of it."