Christian Audigier, the designer behind those Ed Hardy shirts and Von Dutch trucker hats, has lost his battle to cancer at the age of 57. He passed away on Friday, July 10, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the hospital. The designer was well-known for his tattoo print clothing line and hats that were worn by every starlet and young celebrity in the mid-2000s.
Christian Audigier’s rise to fame was designing “rock and roll-influenced” denim in his home country of France. He also became the “King of Denim” in his country. It wasn’t until 2002 when Audigier made a name for himself in the United States with his Ed Hardy and Von Dutch clothing lines.
Most people refer to Christian Audigier as the Ed Hardy or Von Dutch guy. He told GQ in 2009 that he didn’t seem to mind, since it was always a dream of his. For Christian, he wanted to become notorious with denim jeans and trucker hats.
“I was dreaming all of my life of America, of the blue jean, of Marlon Brando. And the trucker hat.”
By the early to mid 2000s, the Von Dutch trucker hat and Ed Hardy T-Shirts were worn by almost every celebrity in Hollywood. The hats, worn by Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake, were priced at $100 each.
After the success of his Von Dutch hat line, Christian Audigier launched Ed Hardy, the brand known for its realistic tattoo prints. The line was inspired by the tattoo artist of the same name. Celebrities like David Beckham, Jessica Alba, Paris Hilton, and Madonna were often seen in Christian’s rock-n-roll inspired fashions.
Audigier’s clientele with celebrities and his colorful fashion helped Ed Hardy become the new face of fashion. In 2009, sales of Christian Audigier’s clothing line earned $700 million globally, and he was rumored to be collaborating with both Madonna and Michael Jackson on their own clothing lines. It’s also been reported that Audigier’s net worth is around $200 million.
Unfortunately, Christian Audigier’s success didn’t last. The brand lost its edge because of changing fashion trends, and celebrities stopped favoring it. Both Von Dutch and Ed Hardy were seen as embarrassing rather than fashion-forwarded, since it became synonymous with the frat-boy culture, including Jon Gosselin and Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation.”
Audigier then started working on clothing lines for brands like American Eagle Outfitters, Bisou Bisou, Diesel, Guess, Levi’s and XOXO, but he became notorious for his Ed Hardy and Von Dutch collections. In the past few years, Audigier traveled the world and spent time with his family, including his daughter and two sons. Audigier was also rumored to have a girlfriend named Nathalie Sorensen.
Although Danny Guez met Christian 20 years ago when he worked for American Eagle, he has nothing but kind words to say about the designer.
“He was loved by a lot of people. Even though Ed Hardy was considered cheesy or whatever, he wasn’t. Everybody respected him.”
Back in April, Audigier told TMZ that he was battling with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which is also known as “bone marrow failure disorder.” The designer was diagnosed back in January. Audigier received a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy back in March, but then quickly fell in and out of a coma, according to a source close to the designer.
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