Tattootime & Hardy Marks Publishing
In 1982, Hardy and his wife formed Hardy Marks Publications. Under this marque, they began publishing the five book series Tattootime. Tattootime was one of several publications, which along with later publications by others, such as Modern Primitives (ReSearch Publications, San Francisco) and cool waves, did much to promote and popularize tattooing with new audiences. Hardy Marks has gone on to publish more than 20 books, including catalogs of Hardy's work and that of Sailor Jerry Collins, as well as other alternative art subjects.
Today, Hardy is retired from doing actual tattoos, but 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.
Artistic career and influence
Hardy pioneered the pop-culture tattoo-as-art space decades before the worldwide boom in tattoo art that permeates popular culture in addition to showing his own works. Hardy has curated a number of exhibitions for both galleries and nonprofit spaces and lectures at museums and universities. His work has appeared in numerous periodicals, books, films internationally and Christian Audigier's clothing line. In 2000, he was appointed by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown to that city's Cultural Arts Commission, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the San Francisco Art Institute.
Don Ed Hardy Brands
In 2002, Hardy was approached by Ku USA, Inc. to produce a line of clothing based on Hardy's art and a licence agreement was signed. Within two years, the collection had drawn the interest of Saks companies. Hardy and Ku USA formed Hardy Life LLC, which holds the trademark ownership as well as the copyrights to all his images.
In 2004, Christian Audigier licensed the rights to produce the high-end Ed Hardy clothing line, which is based on Hardy's imagery. Prior to the Ed Hardy clothing line, Audigier was the 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, by marketing directly to celebrity clients and by opening stores in high profile fashion districts. Ed Hardy stores are located in many locations internationally including the Americas, Europe and Asia
In May 2009, Iconix Brand Group, Inc. announced that the Company has acquired a 50% interest in Hardy Way, LLC, the owner of the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks. The Company paid $17 million for its interest in Hardy Way, consisting of $9 million in cash and $8 million in stock. In addition, the sellers could be entitled to receive an additional $1 million in stock pursuant to an earn-out based on 2009 royalties received by Hardy Way. Hardy Way estimates that 2009 royalty revenue will be approximately $10 million.
Neil Cole, the Chairman and CEO of Iconix Brand Group, stated, "We are excited to have the opportunity to participate in the continued success of the Ed Hardy brand and believe there are tremendous growth opportunities worldwide." Mr. Cole added, "We also believe that by owning the brand alongside Don Ed Hardy, the founder, there will be opportunities to further leverage his iconic name along with his new artwork."
Don Ed Hardy commented, saying, "As demand for my artwork continues to skyrocket, I felt it was time to take on a partner that could help me manage the demand and opportunities for the Ed Hardy name. Iconix is at the forefront of brand management and clearly has the capabilities to dramatically grow the Ed Hardy business. I'm thrilled to have them as a partner."Notes