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About Us

The Story

Acquired in 2010 by co-owners Van Johnson and Kevin Womack, Chicagorilla is a more than just a Chicago fashion brand but rather a culture and movement representing loyalty, perseverance, and strength. Chicagorilla’s mission is to remind our community that we essentially live in a jungle here in Chicago. And like the gorilla, we need to nurture and support our city especially with all of the shootings and the negative attention that we receive in the news. We need to stand together to support one another.

About Van Johnson

Van Johnson is a native of Chicago who was born with passion and talent. From an early age, Van endured a lot growing up in the streets of Chicago and losing his father at the age of seven. Using his art as a way out of the streets, Van put down the pencil and paper and started tattooing 10 years ago at Cold As Ice Tattoos.

Since then, Van has built a name for himself as a celebrity tattoo artist and TV reality personal on VH1’s Black Ink Chicago. The show is currently on their 4th season with an average of 1.8 million views per week. Van has had the pleasure of tattooing Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin as well as Taraji P. Henson, Deon Cole, Val Warner and NFL Football Player, Kelvin Hayden. As the oldest cast member of the show who is a father and the glue that keeps the cast together, Van has cultivated a growing following of 305k followers on all social media platforms.

He has continued to expand his brand with his clothing line Chicagorilla and his tattoo shop Cold As Ice Tattoos. Both businesses operate at Lacuna Lofts located at 2150 S Canalport Ave, Chicago, IL where VH1’s Black Ink Chicago is also filmed.

Van is a rising entrepreneur in the industry who is a Chicago influencer for young men and fathers.

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