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Timeline: Kat Von D’s indelible life in ink and numbers

Kat Von D
Tattoo artist Kat Von D rose to fame on the reality shows “Miami Ink” and her spinoff “L.A. Ink.”
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The artwork that covers Kat Von D — literally from head to foot — tells her life story in one kind of ink.

The lip print on her neck is in honor of her husband (it’s a replica of his lips). A portrait of her father graces her right arm, and the few stars at her temple grew into a constellation after someone advised her to stop tattooing her face.

Rendered in printer’s ink, the key moments in the life and career of the tattoo artist, reality star, author, makeup mogul, vegan footwear founder and musician probably would look a lot like the timeline below.

Kat Von D as a baby, held by her mother, Sylvia Galeano.
Kat Von D as a baby (Kitten Von D, perhaps?) with her mother, Sylvia Galeano.
(Kat Von D)
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March 8, 1982
Katherine Von Drachenberg is born in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Tattoo artist Kat Von D also clears the air about parting ways with her beauty brand, her new vegan shoe line and her upcoming music career.

Sept. 13, 2005
Von D makes her first appearance on TLC’s reality show “Miami Ink,” filling in for a tattoo artist with a broken arm.

Aug. 7, 2007

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Kat Von D in a tattoo parlor on “Miami Ink.”
Kat Von D’s big break came when she filled in for a tattoo artist with a broken arm on the TLC reality show “Miami Ink.”
(Andrew Southam / TLC)

LA Ink,” a spinoff of “Miami Ink” centered around Kat Von D and her West Hollywood High Voltage Tattoo shop, premieres on TLC.

Dec. 14-15, 2007

Kat Von Do tattooing one of a then-world record 400 people in a 24-hour period in 2007.
Kat Von D tats her way to a then-Guinness World Record on Dec. 14, 2007, at her West Hollywood shop, inking 400 people in a 24-hour period.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Von D sets a Guinness World Record for tattooing the most people — 400 — in a 24-hour period. The record stands for six months until broken by her ex-husband, Oliver Peck, with 415.

May 12, 2008

Kat Von D for Sephora brush set
A Kat Von D for Sephora makeup brush set from 2008, the first year of the tattoo artist’s 12-year relationship with the company. LVMH-owned Sephora spun off its business incubator as Kendo Brands.
(Sephora)

Kat Von D for Sephora launches with a limited-edition set that includes four lipsticks, two eyeshadow palettes, six liquid eyeliner shades and a brush set in a vinyl case.

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Jan. 20, 2009

Book cover of Kat Von D’s “High Voltage Tattoo.”
Kat Von D’s first book, “High Voltage Tattoo,” published in January 2009, was a bestseller.
(Harper Design)

Her first book, “High Voltage Tattoo,” is published. The next month it hits No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list in the miscellaneous category.

May 6, 2011
The documentary “Forks Over Knives” is released. Shortly after watching it, Kat Von D transitions from being a vegetarian to becoming a full-fledged vegan.

Sept. 15, 2011
The 84th — and final — episode of “LA Ink” airs.

2016
After more than a year of working with Kendo Brands (the business incubator business spun out of LVMH-owned Sephora), the Kat Von D Beauty brand has been reformulated to be 100% vegan.

June 7, 2018

Kat Von D and son Leafar
Kat Von D has said she was “completely uninformed” when she suggested she might not vaccinate her son Leafar (that’s his father Rafael Reyes’ name spelled backward).
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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A now-deleted Instagram post by the pregnant Kat Von D touches off a firestorm of backlash and accusations of her being an anti-vaxxer.

Nov. 29, 2018
Son Leafar, with husband Rafael Reyes, is born. (Von D married Reyes twice in 2018 — once in February and again in June.)

Nov. 1, 2019

The Coven I buckle shoe from the vegan Von D Shoes line.
The Coven I ($180) was one of the most popular styles of the vegan luxe Von D Shoes at launch. “A coven is group of witches, so I feel this is a sisterhood buckle shoe,” Von D says of the shoe with a short, sculpted kitten heel.
(Von D Shoes)

Von D Shoes officially launches online on World Vegan Day. Two styles — the Slayer boot and the buckle-adorned Coven I — sell out within minutes.

Jan. 16, 2020

View this post on Instagram

This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour! As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity. It's hard to admit this, since I’ve always said “You can do everything and anything.” But I don’t think admitting one's limits is a bad thing. With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that. The transition for you, my loyal customers, will be seamless. In order to avoid any confusion with such a big change, Kat Von D Beauty will take a moment to rebrand itself, so you will start noticing the change from KatVonD Beauty to KvD Vegan Beauty. I'd like to thank my beloved fans+followers who supported my vision to create a brand that stood for compassion, true artistry, and challenged modern ideals of beauty — most of which I never could relate to. I was able to create a makeup line that made outsiders like me feel like we have a place in this “beauty” world, and gave myself and others the tools to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it was embraced by the majority or not. And I just couldn’t have done any of this without you! Lastly, thank you for understanding+respecting my choice, as it was a difficult one to make, but one I am proud of regardless, and am confident that the team will continue the KvD legacy! Here’s to many, many more years of KvD Vegan Beauty!

A post shared by 𝐊𝐀𝐓 𝐕𝐎𝐍 𝐃 (@thekatvond) on

Von D announces on Instagram that she and Kendo Brands have parted ways; Kat Von D Beauty becomes KVD Vegan Beauty.

April 2020

Kat Von D sings at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women.”
An album Kat Von D, performing at the L.A. Gay Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women” in 2012, recorded nearly five years ago is due out this year.
(Beck Starr / FilmMagic)

Tentative release date for the first single from Von D’s debut album, “Love Made Me Do It.”


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