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Yellow Man: Skin Deep

This clothing entrepreneur wears his heart--and his art--on his sleeve.

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This story appears in the July 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Vital Stats: Peter Mui of YellowMan in New York City

Company: High-end apparel company that transfers tattoo art onto fabric

Projected 2008 Sales: More than $10 million



Rebel with a Cause

YellowMan may only be a 3-year-old company, but it has been a business in the making ever since founder Peter Mui was a child. Born in Oklahoma to Chinese immigrants, it didn't take long for Mui to realize that he was different--and that being different wasn't necessarily a good thing. Memories of being scolded by his father for speaking Chinese in public and being the target of racial slurs in eighth grade planted the seeds for a clothing line that has become Mui's ultimate form of self-expression. Defying all stereotypes, and proudly embracing his heritage and defining it as his rebellious calling, the brand YellowMan declares to the rest of the world that being different is not only good, but also beautiful.

Making a Mark

While the name speaks volumes, the clothing behind the brand leaves many speechless. Traveling the world in search of tattoo artists, Mui found 10 of the best and devised a way to transfer an art traditionally done on skin onto clothing. The shirts, adorned with tattoo designs ranging from Maori tribal to American traditional, have become what Mui calls "wearable art," and the number of artists he uses has grown to 75. Says Mui, "I look at my [pieces of clothing] as being collectibles."

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