Hookahs, Diapers and Smart Cars; The Ed Hardy Empire Continues To Expand (or Branding Gone Bonkers)

Ed Hardy Branding Gone Bad IIHH hero

Think you’re sick of Ed Hardy? Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This is branding gone bad.

The Ed Hardy Empire

First off, let me clarify a few things since some people seem to be confused as to who “Ed Hardy” actually is. Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo Wear is not a who, but a company that was begun in 2004 when savvy businessman, international entrepreneur and designer Christian Audigier, who had previously been the head designer at Von Dutch Originals, licensed the work of artist Don Ed Hardy, known to some as The Godfather Of Tattoo. ( Audigier passed away in 2015 of cancer)

With multiple stores in 11 states nationwide and 16 countries worldwide, Ed Hardy has become more than a brand, it’s an empire. Hard to believe that Ed Hardy is only one of the many brands owned by Christian Audigier.

Christian Audigier and Tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy
Christian Audigier. above right: Tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy

Not that this collaboration has been without its problems; the Associated Press reported this past February that Don Ed Hardy had filed a $100 million lawsuit against Christian Audigier over the continued use of his name and artwork to endorse a line of products when Hardy had terminated the contract between them.

In May 2009, Iconix Brand Group, Inc. announced that the Company has acquired a 50% interest in Hardy Way, LLC, the owner of the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks. The Company paid $17 million for its interest in Hardy Way, consisting of $9 million in cash and $8 million in stock. In addition, the sellers could be entitled to receive an additional $1 million in stock pursuant to an earn-out based on 2009 royalties received by Hardy Way. Hardy Way estimates that 2009 royalty revenue will be approximately $10 million. (source: reuters)

Financial details aside, the brand most commonly referred to as Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier has continued to permeate, if not saturate, the market. How exactly has Audigier done that? By building a large celebrity customer base, capitalizing on a big trend early on (tattoos), having the good taste to purchase the right art (don ed hardy’s), being a constant presence in the public spotlight, and licensing his images to and on just about anything and everything.

all the ed hardy products
just a small sample of some of the Ed Hardy product collections

When it comes to marketing, there are no limits to his celebrity reach and he’s entwined in all the timely drama. Mr. Audigier has asked Jon, of the controversial Jon and Kate debacle, to design more children’s products for him. And it was Christian Audigier’s hats and tees that were the official merchandise for what was to be Michael Jackson’s This Is It 2009 concert tour, being that Michael and Christian were apparently dear friends for many years.

Ed Hardy Michael jackson concert
the Michael Jackson 2009 This is It Tour official trucker hat is an Ed Hardy design.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Audigier seems to have spared no efforts in making certain the public knows of his close relationship with the King Of Pop. On the Ed Hardy site’s homepage at present is his interview on The Insider of which a screen grab is shown below.

Audigier on the Insider
Mr. Audigier givng an interview on The Insider

The Ed Hardy Official Myspace page has a tribute to Michael and he’s taken out a billboard in Los Angeles bearing his own likeness with Michael’s bidding him a fond farewell.

jackson hardy billboard
Audigier’s billboard tribute to Michael Jackson in Los Angeles includes his own image

But I digress.
If you are at all fashion savvy, you probably think you know most of the Ed Hardy products out there. Sure, you are aware of the fashions; the jackets, the trucker hats, the handbags, the jeans, the bathing suits, scarves, shoes, swimwear, knitwear, men’s wear, cashmere, leathers, fragrances, candles, watches bling kits for mobile phones and computers and jewelry. Some of that is to be expected when you are a big fashion brand.

Ed Hardy bling kits, loungewear and other branded items
Ed Hardy bling kits, loungewear and other branded items from 2009

You are probably not surprised that there are Ed Hardy branded mobile phone covers, cases, stickers and computer accessories like mice, flash drives, laptop skins and decals.

Ed Hardy computer accessories
just a few of the Ed Hardy computer accessories

And if you read the blogs and design sites, you probably have been exposed to the Ed Hardy vodka, the wines, the coffee, the beer and the water. Perhaps even the guitar picks, the motorcycle helmets, beach towels, flip flops, the lighters, the air fresheners, and the bedding.

ed hardy watches
Ed Hardy has a large and expanding watch collection as well.

But I bet most of you don’t know that there are Ed Hardy branded diapers, breathing strips, air mattresses, camping gear, baby bottles, car cleaning products, shower curtains, first aid kits, candy, snacks, barware, hookahs and nicotine patches! And yes, an Ed Hardy Smart Car.

Breathe Well nasal strips from Ed Hardy
Breathe Well nasal strips from Ed Hardy

I’m not going to show you the abundance of fashions, just less common or unexpected products. Some are directly available from the online Ed Hardy shop and others are either available for purchase elsewhere or to license.

Ed Hardy branded tanning lotions and sprays are available
Even Ed Hardy branded tanning lotions and sprays are available

So, fasten your Ed Hardy seatbelts (yes, they make those too) and get a load of these which represent only about 1/4th of the available Ed Hardy branded products out there. And no, the following products are NOT photo-shopped. All images courtesy of the Hardy Way, Hardy lives and Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo Wear.

Ed Hardy Smart Cars: Smart by Christian Audigier and Project Tattoo is a limited number of specially outfitted hand built Smart Cars in either black or white.

Ed Hardy Project Tattoo Smart Cars IIHIH
Ed Hardy Car
Ed Hardy Smart Car order info here.

For Camping from sleeping bags and air mattresses to coolers, flashlights and folding chairs:
ed hardy camping outdoor gear IIHIH

The new line Ed Hardy Snow has both skiwear and snowboards

Ed Hardy Helmets and gear include helmets for scooters, roadsters, off road and cruisers:
ed hardy helmets

For personal health, they even have nasal strips, nicotine patches, band aids and hand sanitizer!
Mind you, these are NOT parody products, all the images were taken form their numerous websites.

ed hardy nasal strips, hand sanitizer and nicotine patch IIHIH

Not for personal health are his hookahs, lighters, incense and air fresheners:

For the home is everything from bed sheets to shower curtains:
ed hardy bedding and shower curtain

For Baby there are sippy cups and baby bottles, pacifiers and even diapers!
Ed Hardy products for baby diapers and bottles IIHIH

And yes, Toys:
ed hardy toys

Ed Hardy edibles include a line of candy, snacks to come soon and energy drinks.
ed hardy candy energy drinks and snacks IIHIH

Disposables such as plastic utensils, champagne glasses, airfresh bags and even sponges!
ed hardy disposable cutlery, ppaper napkins, kitchen sponges IIHIH

There are many more disposable items like tissues and tablecloths, too.

For the car there is everything from cleaning products to seat covers, floor mats, cd organizers and more:
Ed Hardy Car cleaning and Car Mats IIHIH
ed hardy air fresheners

Like I said, I didn’t include all of items because I simply don’t have the room. But I assure you there are more. Many more.

Shop for many Ed Hardy products here

I know, I know, most of us are all Ed Hardy’d-out but let me tell you, Christian Audigier is laughing all the way to the bank, and it’s probably an Ed Hardy branded Bank.

All images courtesy of the Hardy Way, Hardy Lives and Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo Wear.

2023 UPDATE: So what is Christian Audigier doing now?

Despite having died in 2015, his brand name is still selling branded fashion with a new line of swimsuits for women. Selling NFT art and trying to license a new energy drink.

See his official website https://www.christianaudigierofficial.com/

This 2022 article from In Style talks about the brand making a comeback