Tattoo Artist Don Ed Hardy
Ed Hardy is a brand that has a rich history. The French entrepreneur Christian Audigier was responsible for the line’s success. He was a master of marketing and brought together celebrities and stories for the brand. He was also a charismatic figure, and with the help of these attributes, he built an empire. Although we may not understand the brand’s heyday, it set a precedent for fashion success, and it opened the door for high-fashion streetwear.
The story of how Ed Hardy became famous is interesting because it varies depending on who you ask. Many people are intrigued by the serendipity of the discovery, and others appreciate Audigier’s ability to spot the next big thing. In reality, it is a mixture of both. In one version, the designer studied under Sailor Jerry Collins, and in another version, he became a student of Don Ed Hardy.
Although Hardy was a Southern California native, he later returned to his roots to pursue tattoo art. He studied under the few tattoo masters in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s. His influences from Japanese culture and military tattoos influenced his style. Hardy’s career as a tattoo artist began in the early 1970s and continued into the 1980s.
Born in Newport Beach, California, Hardy was encouraged to draw by his mother when he was a boy. His mother would encourage him to draw and encouraged him to take his crayons to neighbors. This led him to become an amateur tattoo artist in his neighborhood. He was able to make many friends and became a popular artist within his own community.
In 2009, Ed Hardy’s popularity was high. The hit TV show The Simple Life had finished its four-year run. America’s first Black president had just taken office. The brand had 70 stores worldwide, and sales reached $700 million annually. In the meantime, Jon Gosselin was a divorced dad of eight. Despite the tumultuous times, the brand was still selling clothing and accessories at a steep price.
Hardy now divides his time between San Francisco and Honolulu. After leaving tattooing in the mid-‘aughts, he launched a publishing company called Hardy Marks Publications with Francesca Passalacqua. The two-person operation is known for flash designs and striking, layered paintings with nuanced and overt references.
While tattooing is not the only form of art created by Hardy, he was a pioneer of the art and revolutionized the tattoo industry. Despite his popularity as a tattoo artist, tattooing is now a sought-after collectible. In addition to his work on the body, Hardy also created a series of higher-end capsule collections. These capsule collections come in limited editions of 50 and feature classic Hardy designs.