When Nicholas James Brown prepares to go out for cocktails at the Tribeca Grand or to a clambake in the Hamptons, he sticks on a few boldly patterned Band-Aids by the Brazilian fashion designer Alexandre Herchcovitch.
To Brown, 24, who works at Esquire magazine in New York, the colorful strips are an important accessory, and he's careful to coordinate them with his Kris Van Assche sweater or his Balenciaga bag. He generally wears one on his left hand or arm and balances it out with two or three on his right leg.
He doesn't put them on his face because, he said, "I don't want people thinking, 'What happened?' " And if anyone does ask what he's done to himself to need all of those bandages?
"I'll lie and say, 'I have a cut,' " he said.
For most everyone over the age of 5, it's unfathomable to use a bandage purely as body art. But since the adhesive strip has been upgraded by designers like Herchcovitch or studded with Swarovski crystals, some adults have begun to view it as they would a bracelet or spray tan, as adornment.
"Even if you don't have a cut, bandages are a great way to make a statement that doesn't break the bank," said Chris Bick, an owner of FredFlare.com, which sells lip-shaped bandages. "It's kind of like a temporary tattoo that gets you sympathy."