Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hats off to Ed Hardy!

Ed Hardy has caught my eye lately due their very effective branding strategy of bad boy / bad girl celebrity outfitting.

The clothing brand, designed by legendary designer Christian Audigier who has bought the rights to the work of iconic tatoosit Don Ed Hardy has been splashing itself all over our TV screens and print media, literally on the backs of some of the most famous celebrity rebels Austalia as to offer.

I first noticed this strategy whilst watching Sam Newman wearing their t-shirts during the Street Talk segment on "The Footy Show" in Melbourne. Newman is one of Melbourne's favourite bad boys and his own brand fits the Ed Hardy brand to a tee (excuse the pun?)with his long list of public misdemeanours. I again noticed the very unsubtle Ed Hardy t-shirt on Australian Idol last night, worn by Suzi Quatro,America's bad girl of rock of the 70s and 80s.

After some further digging I have found many more examples of the great bad boy / bad girl celebrity branding of Ed Hardy with Madonna, Brittney, David Beckham, Lenny Kravitz and Paris Hilton all donning the conspicuous t-shirts.

This is a great example of the power of celebrities as opinion leaders. Their mass media exposure provides brands like Ed Hardy with significant and swift penetration into the marketplace.


  1. Do NOT get me started on the Ed Hardy brand!.. Well okay, I'll start..

    Some time ago, being a big fan of traditional Japanese tattoo art, I came across a fabulous pair of Ed Hardy shoes on Ebay. At this stage I had never heard of Ed Hardy, neither had the rest of the country given the Google activity at the time. I was so pleased with my great news shoes and flashed their brilliance to everyone who would look.
    A couple of months later I did a double take when I saw the exact same image plastered on the t shirt of a contestant from So You Think You Can Dance. hmm.. no biggy.
    But after seeing the same and similar t-shirts no fewer than 50 times(!) in the same series, I realized what was going on.
    Soon after, I started spotting these on all our local " celebs". The more it started to appear on the surgically enhanced, bleach blondes with suspect characters of either sex, the more I began to shy away from it.
    It wasn't long before my beautiful shoes had become synonymous with a type that I didn't wish to be identified with, and their outings diminished.
    Not long after, I began to see rips offs everywhere I went, from Thailand malls to KMart - everyone had hooked into the Tattooed T-shirt trend, in the process diluting the brand and its appeal even further.

    And now I'm left feeling empty and saddened by my own Ed Hardy. What used to represent a rich traditional art form full of symbolism and meaning, has now become a badge of belonging for the "trailer trash" amongst us.

    But I won't cut off my nose to spite my face. I'll still wear my lovely Ed Hardy shoes... I just won't wear them and drink the bloody Ed Hardy branded water too!

    Beware the product placement - it may put you in a place you don't want to be.

  2. haha I feel yor pain Candice. Remember though no matter how many people are currently wearing Ed Hardy you will always be a trend setter in this matter :)

  3. come on Ed Hardy sucks. it's in my white man genes.

  4. haha thats great. Join the facebook page 'Thanks to Ed Hardy I recognize morons right' - Thank you Super Kawaii Mama for pointing this one out!!!