So, my first exposure to Ed Hardy was some kinda comment about how uncool it was (something like: ‘look at the schmuck in the Ed Hardy shirt’)
I see two people later wearing colorful tattoo-rockabilly-Sailor Jerry kinda shirts with ‘Ed Hardy’ prominently advertised across them and figured it was part of my progression into old fogeydom*.
So. Is it something I need to pay attention to? Something that, as a 40 year old, I’m too old to wear? Is it kinda like calling ‘flairs’ (cool), bellbottoms? (uncool)
(along with me as a parent learning how to google Bakugan phonetically. If you spell it like it sounds, all you get are parents posting about ‘what’s this damn toy my kid wants, and how do you spell it?’)
Well, I too am 40 so take this with an enormous grain of salt:
AFAICT, Ed Hardy is what Uncool People think is Cool. IOW, if you like or wear Ed Hardy, you are definitonally Not Cool, though you might (wrongly) think you’re cool.
Ever seen Real Housewives of New Jersey, where the big haired twangy voice housewives show off their godawful gold-leafed and marble McMansions? It’s like that: Something the owner/wearer thinkst is tasteful/cool, but many others think is not. It’s like the Chavs and Burberry in England – a brand that is associated with people who are maybe not themselves the acme of good taste.
Jon Gosselin loves Ed Hardy, which pretty much explains the whole vibe if you know who he is, and tells you nothing if you don’t.
BTW, there is obviously quite a bit of reverse snobbery in this, and it’s not necessarily my own opinion – I’m not in the demo and couldn’t give a shit about EH either way – but that’s the word on the street as I understand it.
<me googles Jon Gosselin, gets the Kate plus 8 context and replies>
Gotcha. It seemed similar to Sailor Jerry (mentioned in the OP) which has some interesting history (and is a GREAT RUM), so I wondered if there was anything deeper. If it, like Sailor Jerry, had a history, or if it was a carefully calculated marketing brand™.
I think Ed Hardy used to be cool. From what I can gather, it was a line of really, really expensive t-shirts, hoodies, and the like. Because of the price, not many people wore Ed Hardy, and if you were wearing EH, then everyone knew you spent way too much on your t-shirt.
But now EH designs have been licensed out to appear on just about everything (sneakers, purses, etc.) and it seems like everyone is wearing EH (or EH knock offs), so it’s not cool anymore.
Tattoo style art is an anti-establishment, underground, subculture aesthetic. If you sell it in a mall with a brand on it, then it is the complete opposite. If you want to wear a shirt like that and be cool, at the very least it can’t contain advertising - “This is an Ed Hardy Shirt!”.
It should be a real designer shirt which was handpainted by an artist (not screened) and cost $400 from a boutique on Robertson Blvd, or it should contain obscene words or images to show that you are not someone who cares about what “polite society” considers appropriate.
See, now this is good info. It tells me I’m so far out of touch that something goes through it’s ‘birth’, ‘discovery as cool’, ‘blatant whoring for money’ and ‘now uncool’ phases before I’m even aware of it’s existence. Perhaps I’ll get in on the revival/nostalgia part of the lifecycle.
Don Ed Hardy is a real person and was a student of the real “Sailor Jerry” Collins. He’s one of the most well known and influential tattoo artists in the world. The “Ed Hardy” line of clothes are licensed to use his name and some of his his tattoo images. Some tattoo artists I know find it a little distasteful that he’s capitalizing on his name in his later years, but he’s reportedly pulling in millions over it.
Two of my best friends IRL love Ed Hardy. They also love tattoos and tattoo designs in general. I have to admit that some of the Ed Hardy stuff is really neat looking, although if I ever spend that much on a simple T-shirt, you have permission to shoot me in the head.
The problem you run into is that it gets trendy and then you can’t tell the people who are wearing it for the aesthetic from the people who bought it to fit in. Ed Hardy is a respected name amongst tattoo enthusiasts and it bothers some to see untatted guys with no knowledge of the man and his work putzing around in the shirt they got because their friends had one.
It seems to have gotten really big during the “Rock of Love” era of VH1. Christian Audidididihgldkshlgskdhglh (or whatever) started appearing on the shows in some faculty or another. Then Ed Hardy became required wear for everyone trying to get with Bret Michaels. That’s the first time I remember it being represented in the mainstream.
Ed Hardy clothing is like a bad tattoo, only you can’t even claim that you got it when you were dumb and young because, beyond plunking down too much money for it in the first place, you make a (bad) choice every time you put it on.
Unlike some other fashion brands or trends, visually, it just screams obnoxious, from the loud prints of women fucking dragons under a sea of sparkles to the almost instant mass production – it took maybe three months after I first heard to Ed Hardy for me to come face-to-face with a shelf full of Ed Hardy perfume, bikinis and underwear. Even Hello Kitty branding doesn’t spread that quickly!
It doesn’t help that designer Christian Audigier seems like quite a douche himself.
Wow- I just determined that I am an Old Fart. Officially.
I’ve only heard of Ed Hardy on these boards and never cared enough to research what the stuff looked like. So I just googled it, and holy shit, that is some ugly clothing. I can comfortably say I’ve never seen it before, so it is a trend that has completely passed me by. I used to think I was one cool hip cat; not so any longer.
But to the extent that being cool and aware means I’d have to be exposed to those god-awful designs, I’m sort of happy I’m clueless.