Don Ed Hardy

The Body As Canvas…

Body art, especially tattoos, were not always looked upon favorably by mainstream society. You might get one, but chances are you wouldn’t tell your grandmother about it.

Don Ed Hardy
has brought tattoos into a new light. His tattoos are recognized as true art. Hardy, who was raised in California, is quoted as saying, “a tattoo is an affirmation: that this body is yours to have and to enjoy while you're here. Nobody else can control what you do with it.” 


Often referred to as “the godfather of modern tattoo,” Hardy graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a B.A. in Printmaking.  In 1973, he had the opportunity to study with Japanese Tattoo Master, Horihide. He then combined his own artistic style with that of the classic Japanese tattoo.  The result was tattooing elevated to an art form.

Hardy has always been an avid Entrepreneur. In 1982, he started Hardy Apero Marks Publications and proceeded to publish popular books on tattoos.  Later in 2002, he formed Ku USA and began producing a clothing line based on his art.


Then in 2004, French Fashion Designer Christian Audigier purchased the rights to Hardy’s art and designs.  The result was an incredible collaboration for a new, edgy fashion line of Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier Apparel.  Audigier's strategy was to get the new clothing line all designed by Ed Hardy into the hands of upscale fashion districts.  And it worked.  Today, Audigier has Ed Hardy clothing stores located across the Unites States and the world in Dubai, Paris, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Africa and the Czech Republic.


In 2009 the Iconix Brand Group reportedly paid $17 million for a 50% interest in the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks. Not exactly the corner tattoo parlor. 


***Interesting Fact: To celebrate the new millennium (which was the year of the Dragon) Hardy used his skill as a Printmaker to create a 500 foot long scroll painting with 2000 dragons. The scroll has been exhibited worldwide.





Tags: Don Ed Hardy, tattoos, body art, printmaking, Japanese art, Hardy Apero Marks, Ku USA, Hardy Way, Christian Audigier, iconix

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