unmistakable trademark and charismatic personality make
man of the moment. But who is this crazy and eccentric
French man known as, Le Vif, (the fast one).
Christian, in just about two years, has succeeded in
taking the fashion industry by storm and making
household name. This has ultimately led him to becoming
the king of the designer T-shirt. He first received
national recognition when he put Von Dutch Originals on
the map by using the idea of pinstripe designs, which he
developed into an international brand. You could not go
anywhere without seeing a T-Shirt or trucker hat worn by
celebrities or college kids on the streets of LA, Miami,
New York or Paris. His association to Von Dutch lasted a
little over 3 years before Audigier, true to his passion
for cars and motorcycles, decided to start his own
company once he was granted the exclusive rights to work
with the designs of tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy. Oddly
enough, he repeated his incredible success with the
tattoo designs of Don Ed Hardy, the godfather of tattoo.
From Britney Spears, who was his very first celebrity
client, to Ashton Kutchner, Paris Hilton, Hilary Duff
and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. Christian has
created a virtual who's who of celebrity hipsters
wearing, the trucker hats, the jeans and the now
infamous Ed Hardy T-shirt.
Audigier, a native from Avignon, France, has an
impressive list of credits and accomplishments under his
belt. His career started in his early teens when he was
discovered by one of the top executives at MacKeen
Jeans. Christian had already created a denim collection,
greatly influenced by Rock n Roll. My favorite group was
the Rolling Stones. It was natural for me to design cool
clothes , says Christian. Although under age, he joined
MacKeen shortly thereafter and became a major force in
the company. During that time, he traveled all over the
globe from Tokyo to Paris to New York, where he was
blown away by that incredible city and its grandeur. I
remember thinking to myself, I need to come here and
start my own company. No more than 3 years later,
Christian moved to New York, formed his own company and
freelanced for the biggest names of the denim industry:
Guess, American Outfitters, Fiorucci, Bisou Bisou,
Levi's, XOXO and revamped the Diesel brand. He created a
name for himself and became the King of Jeans.
One cold winter day,
while watching a television program on Bali, Christian decided to move
there. While still working in denim, he experimented with jersey, and
other materials. After living in Bali for a few years, he returned to
the States, this time to Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capitol of the
world. LA seemed to be the next step for me. The weather was great, I
had lots of friends and clients living there, and denim was always
It was in 2002 when
Audigier met Tonny Sorensen who had just acquired the rights to the name
Von Dutch, the legendary pin striper and auto mechanic and was
contemplating developing a film from it. In talking with Tonny,
Christian had a vision; why not a fashion label? A clothing line. Using
his savvy knowledge of the industry and his marketing genius, mixed with
his amazing ability to create jeans that fly off shelves, Audigier
convinced Sorensen to change his mind, and the rest is history.
We recently met with
Christian and asked about his phenomenal career.
Please tell us about
the foundation of your success and what it takes.
It's hard to say. I think that in a way I have been very lucky. I was
there when I needed to be. I knew the business, I was a designer by
trade, I love people and marketing is my second nature. It comes
naturally to me.
How did you approach
Von Dutch and its heir?
CA: I did not approach
them they approached me. As far as Don Ed Hardy is concerned, he was
someone that I admired and that I wanted to work with. We met, we liked
each other and we decided to do business together. After all, it is a 2
way street. I make him famous and he makes money with me and everyone is
What made you leave
Von Dutch for a new project?
CA: The Godfather of
Tattoo. Also, it was time and I wanted to have my own company.
Why Ed Hardy?
CA: Why not? He is the
best and I wanted to work with a legend.
How did this decision
affect your life and your business?
CA: I love my life. It is
exactly how I want to live it. The success that I know right now only
adds to it. I am a pretty positive guy. I just love life I never make
it so complicated. I love to have fun and to have a good time with
whatever it is that I am doing. I surround myself with the same kind of
people. I have many other projects in the works. I love to be busy
What makes tattoo art
so special? And why were you specifically attracted to tattoos?
CA: It is very special
because in a way you are committing your skin to it. What I mean by that
is; that whatever you decide to put on any part of your body is there to
stay and removing it is very hard so it is a major commitment. And that
is very special in itself. The art is vivid, clear and personal. It has
Although tattoo art
is very expensive, in many instances, it is perceived to be for Harley
drivers and bar lovers: What are your thoughts and how can you change
AC: True, however
tattooing has been a trend and a fashion for quite sometime now. It
started when Rock n Rollers rode their motorcycles and borrowed the art
form from the Hells Angels in the sixties. They started the tattoo
trend. Nowadays you have tattoo parlors everywhere and it is chic to
have a tattoo. It is not soly reserved to guys and Rock n Rollers,
girls have them also, small, big, etc. So, I do not have to try to
change the perception. It was changed a long time ago. I fit in the
context of fashion. To place a tattoo design on a shirt certainly does
not nearly hurt as much as on skin. It is just fun Tattoos are
And what makes
celebrities and designer stores such as Nordstrom, crazy over this
It's not Nordstrom or Macy's that dictates fashion. It is the people.
They are the ones to create the demand and therefore the department
stores carry what they want to buy. You have to watch the people in the
streets, see what they like to wear, and then you can create what they
will be attracted to and what they will buy. The Stars are greatly
responsible for promoting a product, but they are people and there
again, if it's fun or beautiful or interesting, they will wear it. It's
got to be hip and comfortable.
Why couldn't Hardy
realize the success you have attained through his name and art?
I do not know. You would have to ask him. But I imagine that not being
in the fashion industry and not having a full staff behind you may be
the reason. Plus, it simply is not his business. You always need to have
associates in life. It is practically impossible to do anything by
yourself. We just clicked
Since the infamous
trucker hats, he has designed T-shirts, Jeans, Jackets, Bags, Shoes,
Furniture, Motorcycles, etc. Christian's future endeavors seem to be
endless. Audigier's ability to set trends is quite remarkable. He has
become the most wanted brand of casual wear around the world. He has
licensed the Ed Hardy name out to bottled water and apple-flavored
energy drinks, shoes, belts, pooch bag, etc. His fashions are sold in
over 3000 stores in the world along with his own signature stores in LA,
New-York, Tucson, and soon to open Miami and Paris. His company has
exploded in its first year earning $15 million and he projects it will
earn $50 million this year. Price points range from $55 to $500 for a
learn more about Christian Audigier and the Ed Hardy brand you can visitwww.donedhardy.com