Ed Hardy says his moment in the fashion industry’s spotlight may have been ruined when the wrong person donned one of his shirts.
Hardy, a well-known tattoo artist, became a hot property in the fashion world in 2003 after apparel makers spotted his tattoos in a magazine and licensed them for a clothing line. Two years later, French business man obtained the licensing rights and started putting Hardy’s tattoos on a wide variety of merchandise, including shoes, cigarette lighters and sports drinks, the New York Post notes.
By 2009, Hardy’s brand was generating annual sales of $700 million. Then the media spotted cable TV reality star Jon Gosselin — who gained infamy during a messy divorce from his wife Kate — wearing one of Hardy’s shirts in Cannes.
“That Jon Gosselin thing was the nail in the coffin,” Hardy told the Post. Once Hardy’s designs were associated with the despised Gosselin retailers like Macy’s (M) quickly dropped them.
Hardy has harsh words for the current state of the tattoo business. “Tattooers are so full of themselves now. They’re so much like rock stars, as if they were sprung from the womb like the savior of mankind,” he says.
The tattoo icon has written a memoir of his life and experiences, titled Wear your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos.