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Don Ed Hardy
Don Ed Hardy at the second World Tattoo Convention in Reno Nevada, 1977.
Born January 1945 (age 69)
Died 2009
Nationality American
Known for Painting, Drawing, Tattoo
Movement Body art, Postmodern art

Don Ed Hardy is an American artist raised in Southern California. Hardy is best known for his tattoo work and his eponymous apparel and accessories brand Ed Hardy.

Early life[edit]

Hardy was born in 1945 in Iowa, where he lived for a year before his family moved to California. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking.[1] Hardy was a student of Sailor Jerry Collins and, through his association, was able to study tattooing in Japan in 1973 with the Japanese classical tattoo master Horihide.[2] He became recognized for incorporating Japanese tattoo aesthetics and technique into his American style work.[1]


In 1982, Hardy and his wife formed Hardy Marks Publications. Under this marque, they began publishing the five-book series Tattootime.[3] Hardy Marks has gone on to publish more than 25 books about alternative art,[4] including catalogs of Hardy's work and that of Sailor Jerry Collins.

In 2000, he was appointed by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown to the city's Cultural Arts Commission.[5]

In February 2010, Marc Jacobs sued Hardy for infringing on the designs of one of his embroidered handbags.[6]

Today, Hardy is retired from tattooing.[7] He oversees and mentors the artists at his San Francisco studio, Tattoo City. Since the 1960s, he has concentrated heavily on non-tattoo based art forms, especially printmaking, drawing, and painting.


2008 Ed Hardy brand shoe.

In the 2000s, Hardy licensed Ku USA, Inc. to produce a line of clothing based on his art.[8] Within two years, the collection had drawn the interest of Saks companies.[citation needed] Hardy and Ku USA formed Hardy Life, which holds the trademark ownership as well as the copyrights to all his images.[citation needed]

In 2004, Christian Audigier licensed the rights to produce the Ed Hardy clothing line, which is based on Hardy's imagery. Prior to the Ed Hardy clothing line, Audigier was head designer at Von Dutch Originals, which marketed the imagery of Kenny Howard. Audigier has attempted to replicate the marketing techniques employed by Von Dutch Originals, marketing directly to celebrity clients and by opening stores in high profile fashion districts. Ed Hardy stores were located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Honolulu, Scottsdale, Tucson, Vancouver, Dubai, Johannesburg, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai and Qatar.[2]

In May 2009, Iconix Brand Group announced it had acquired a 50 percent interest in Hardy Way, LLC, the owner of the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks.[9]

In 2010, IGP Beauty secured the licensing rights for Ed Hardy Professional Styling Tools.[10] IGP Beauty has since then manufactured a variety of blow dryers, styling irons, styling tools, and hair accessories that include artwork inspired by Ed Hardy's famous tattoo designs.[11]


  1. ^ a b DeMello, Margo (2007). Encyclopedia of Body Adornment. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 145. ISBN 0-313-33695-4. 
  2. ^ a b Hamlin, Jesse (September 30, 2006), "Don Ed Hardy's tattoos are high art and big business", San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications, Inc.), retrieved March 26, 2010 
  3. ^ DeMello, Margo (2000). Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community. Duke University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0-8223-2467-9. 
  4. ^ Biography – Hardy Marks Publications and Don Ed Hardy Archive. Hardymarks.com (2012-07-14). Retrieved on 2012-08-08.
  5. ^ DeFao, Janine (December 30, 1999). "Jerry Brown Picks Tattooist For Art Panel". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco: Hearst Communications, Inc.). p. A-1. Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ Fashionista. Fashionista (2010-02-10). Retrieved on 2012-08-08.
  7. ^ Vance, Ashlee (November 12, 2009), "Ed Hardy’s Tattoo Art Is Booty for Digital Pirates", The New York Times, retrieved March 26, 2010 
  8. ^ Alabi, Mo (September 4, 2013). "Ed Hardy: From art to infamy and back again". CNN. 
  9. ^ Bhattacharjee, Nivedita (May 5, 2009), UPDATE 1-Iconix Q1 tops market; buys 50 pct in Hardy Way, Reuters, retrieved March 26, 2010 
  10. ^ "IGP Beauty, Inc. Secures Celebrity Hair Care Lines". May 13, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ed Hardy". IGP Beauty website. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Ed_Hardy — Please support Wikipedia.
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287 news items

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:48:32 -0700

Ed Hardy, the apparel brand based on iconic tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy's intricate work, declared itself a big deal when it launched back in 2007 and then completely fell apart in 2010 when it was forced to close stores, liquidate assets and turn ...
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:28:08 -0700

They opened 50 Ed Hardy stores in China last year. It all started to go mainstream in the 1980s. People learned of me through word of mouth and would fly in from all over the globe to get tattoos at my shop. It was crazy. I didn't know it would ever ...

Business Standard

Business Standard
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:19:39 -0700

Ed Hardy, the iconic apparel brand from US known for its tattoo art and created by Amercian art icon Don Ed Hardy, seems to have rapidly learnt from its mistakes in the past. In 2007, the brand was first launched by Mumbai-based Wadhawan Lifestyle but ...
Hollywood Reporter
Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:49:05 -0700

Though the cover of Don Ed Hardy's memoir is dressed in dragons, skulls and a red-tipped sword -- and bears the co-authorship of veteran rock journalist Joel Selvin -- don't expect to read about a tattoo artist's most jaw-dropping moments, since such ...
San Francisco Chronicle
Sat, 30 Sep 2006 03:27:33 -0700

Forty years ago, Don Ed Hardy blew off a Yale fine-art fellowship to pursue the rogue art of tattoo, a timeless and often taboo tradition that captivated him as a boy in the Orange County beach town of Corona del Mar. By 10 he was drawing cars and ...
CultureMap Houston
Sat, 09 Jun 2012 09:08:19 -0700

Thanks to a massively successful partnership with French fashion designer Christian Audigier forged in 2004, Ed Hardy has become a household name the world over — a rare feat for any artist, let alone one who's spent most of his career in a tattoo ...
OCRegister (subscription)
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:43:32 -0700

The first and only tattoo shop in Corona del Mar in the mid-1950s operated out of the den of Don Ed Hardy's home on Goldenrod Avenue. The name sounds familiar, right? Ed Hardy is arguably the first celebrity tattoo artist, famous for the talent and ...
New York Times
Thu, 12 Nov 2009 19:50:39 -0800

The designs of Don Ed Hardy, who owns Tattoo City in North Beach, are expected to move more than $700 million in merchandise this year. Mr. Hardy's colorful and exotic tattoo designs-cum-artwork seem to help sell just about anything. Cruise around the ...

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