Over the past 5 years, French-born Christian Audigier has become a household name. His Von Dutch trucker hats and T-shirts were a celeb staple and could be spotted in most cosmopolitan cities, from L.A. to his hometown of Paris. Audigier broke away from Von Dutch after about 3 years, and set out to design his own collection based off of the tattoo designs of Don Ed Hardy. Celebrities quickly popularized Audigier’s new line, and his elite client list initially skyrocketed the designer to fashion fame.
Christian Audigier defines his style as luxury street wear, and his collections have expanded the breadth of consumers to include kids, accessories, fragrance, women and menswear. Today, Audigier has three division brands to his name: Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier, and Paco Chicano. His daughter, Crystal, also branched off to create her own organic fashion line that stems from Audigier’s foundation designs.
The Ed Hardy brand is famous for rhinestone tees and hoodies with the classic tattoo design, and the popularized slogan, “Love Kills Slowly”. Paco Chicano is similar in style, but draws inspiration from Europe, pairing floral designs with pseudo-religious and amorous artwork. The Christian Audigier collection is full of velour tracksuits and racer dresses and tunics.
While Audigier’s collections –especially Ed Hardy– were once the brands du jour, that isn’t the case today. True, Audigier’s collections continue to sell in most major department stores, but there’s an undeniable stigma attached to his collections. Once considered edgy, the tattoo-inspired collections have lost their “cool” factor. The “celebs” known to sport Ed Hardy clothes today aren’t exactly hailed as style icons….the fame-hungry cast of the Jersey Shore and Jon Gosselin are far from fashion royalty.
It’s unclear exactly when or why this anti-Audigier wave came about, but it seems this disfavor won’t be going away any time soon. One simple Google search will yield countless articles and blog posts that vehemently bash the brand. AskMen.com listed Audigier’s “overdesigned” Ed Hardy shirts as one of the top 6 things not to wear. There’s even a Facebook fan page with close to 2,000 members, entitled “Hating people who wear Ed Hardy”.
Still, Audigier remains successful by definition. He has made a name for himself, and there will likely always be a market for his products, though his initial success may be hard to duplicate. If you’re a fan of Audigier’s tattoo-inspired styles, you can visit www.christianaudigier.com to shop the collections.