7.27.2009

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



above: hookahs, Smart Cars and Diapers are among the Ed Hardy branded products


Think you're sick of Ed Hardy?
Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

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.

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.


above left: 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.


above: 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.


above: 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.



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:



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.


above: as any trendy brand should do, Ed Hardy offers bling kits for mobile phones, laptops and ipods

above: men's loungwear from Ed Hardy

above: underwear, eyeglasses, belts, briefs, bracelets, barware, bandanas, ties and more are among the 2009 items from Ed Hardy

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.


above: 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.


above: 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.


above: Breathe Well nasal strips from Ed Hardy


above: Ed Hardy branded tanning lotions and sprays are available

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.

So, fasten your Ed Hardy seatbelts (yes, they make them) 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 Smart Car order info here.

For Camping from sleeping bags and air mattresses to coolers, flashlights and folding chairs:








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:


For personal health, they even have nasal strips, nicotine patches, band aids and hand sanitizer!





Not for personal health are his hookahs and lighters:




For the home is everything from bed sheets to incense, air fresheners to shower curtains.






For Baby there are sippy cups and baby bottles, pacifiers and even diapers!





And yes, Toys:


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





Disposables such as plastic utensils, champagne glasses, airfresh bags and even sponges!




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

For the car is everything from cleaning products to seat covers, floor mats, cd organizers and more:






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.
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