Christian Audigier, The Man Behind Those Ed Hardy T-Shirts, Dies At 57
Christian Audigier, the man who got the world (including folks from the Jersey Shore) to wear garish glittering tattooed tees and Von Dutch trucker caps, has died at the age of 57 after a battle with cancer.
The French clothier's publicist, Michele Elyzabeth, told entertainment publication, LATF: "I just heard the news and I am truly devastated. Christian was an incredibly brilliant man. He will be missed."
In April, Audigier told TMZ that he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a "bone marrow failure disorder," which he had found out about in January. He was getting chemotherapy and received a bone marrow transplant in March, and had recently returned to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles before briefly going in and out of a coma, a source close to the fashion mogul told LATF.
Audigier's Ed Hardy brand saw its height in popularity in the mid-2000s when celebrities like Madonna and Britney Spears wore his colorful panther-rides-a-rose-rides-a-skull clothing wear. But when reality TV stars like the party kids from Jersey Shore and Jon Gosselin started wearing the brand publicly, that's when it tanked.
And Ed Hardy, the tattoo artist whose work inspired the clothing brand line, wasn't happy with the way it affected his legacy. "Morons dehumanized it," Hardy told CNN in 2013. He wasn't a fan of Audigier's hobnobbing with celebrities to get them to wear the brand. In his 2013 memoir, "Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos," Hardy didn't have any problem pointing fingers at D-list celebrities like Gosselin ruining the brand, saying that a Macy's buyer mentioned Gosselin when talking about dropping the clothing line.
When Hardy first met Audigier, he signed over the rights to a lot of his tattoo artwork to Audigier, and the brand skyrocketed. Hardy said in his memoir that Audigier altered his tattoo artwork and even pocketed the money he used to license Hardy's artwork to other companies. Hardy took Audigier to court, and they settled in 2009.
Audigier was also known for working on clothing lines for brands like Guess, Diesel and Levi's, but we'll remember him most for those gaudy Ed Hardy shirts the most.