Low-rise jeans. Trucker hats. Body glitter. Many fashion fads came and went in the early 2000s, but few captured the popular imagination like Ed Hardy. The once-ubiquitous mall store took its inspiration from the work of tattoo artist Donald Edward "Ed" Hardy, who licensed his designs to French designer Christian Audigier around 2003. The partnership was incredibly profitable, and soon celebrities were stepping out in rhinestone-embellished caps and tattoo-covered tees. But success came at a steep personal cost for Hardy - he claims Audigier's clothing, worn by reality stars like the Jersey Shore cast and Jon Gosselin, cheapened his brand and art.
By 2009, Hardy and Audigier were embroiled in legal battles, and the clothing brand's popularity was waning. Audigier sold the line in 2011; he passed away in 2015. Must-have Ed Hardy shirts may be a thing of the past, but there's no denying the impact they had on a particular moment in fashion history.
- Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images172Is this peak Ed?
Corbin Bleu At An Ed Hardy Party, 2006Photo: Michael Tran Archive/FilmMagic / Getty Images152Is this peak Ed?
- Photo: Bill McCay/WireImage / Getty Images144Is this peak Ed?
Kendra Wilkinson At Korn's Family Values Tour Launch, 2007Photo: Chris Weeks/WireImage / Getty Images121Is this peak Ed?