Monday, November 16, 2009

Culture Lesson: Christian Audigier, the man behind fashion and asshattery

Christian Audigier is a French fashion designer responsible for the decline in American fashion and increase in visible douche baggery as the primary force behind Von Dutch and Ed Hardy.

Audigier is also the man behind Smet. (Fun fact: the Web site is blocked from my office's server. Is it because Smet is appallingly ugly?) You may recognize Smet as the brand frequently emblazoned across the chest of Ghost Adventures leader Zak Bagans or the focus of a competition on Rock of Love Charm School. (Don't look at me like that. Junk television is my main weakness!)

Whatever. Audigier is a rich, rich man, and here is the background on his fashion empire:

Von Dutch Named after artist Kenny Howard (1929–1992), the label is best known as the brand on Ashton Kutcher's head during the years he appeared in Punk'd and forcing trucker hats on the heads of million across our great nation.

And let us not forget that Howard was a neo nazi.

Ed Hardy Named after artist Ed Hardy (b. 1945), the label is known for its cheesy, tacky, and tasteless large-scale artwork adorning clothing, car air freshners, cologne bottles, and Jon Gosselin. The real Hardy was a student of tattoo legend Sailor Jerry (1911–1973), which explains the "throwback" style of the clothing line, which features tigers, babes, sailors, anchors, dice, miscellaneous wild cats, meant to look like tattoo flash. It's like a non-permanent tattoo! (Please note that Audigier's bran site is

Audigier licensed the rights to Hardy's style/images in 2004.

Smet is Audigier's clothing line with French rock and roll super star Johnny Hallyday. Both were featured as judges on the aforementioned episode of Rock of Love Charm School.

Crystal Rock is Audigier's clothing line with his daughter Crystal. Daughter and clothing were the focus of a particularly opulent episode of My Super Sweet 16:

Today Audigier is better known for his friendship with Jon and Kate Plus 8ight star Jon Gosselin and his proliferation across MTV network(s).

What's most important here, Old People, is that you stray from wearing a shirt with a tiger's face and studded with crystals. (You won't even find Audigier in his clothes.)

If this has you feeling a little down, Funny or Die published a satirical video last month:

Additional Resources:
Christian Audigier Web site
"brand" Web site
Von Who?, OC Weekly, 2004
Trucker Hats, Tattoos, and Madonna, Business Week

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