Founder of the Ed Hardy Clothing Empire Passes Away at 57

Christian Audigier built the wildly popular Ed Hardy label from the ground up after taking it on in 2005.
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Christian Audigier built the wildly popular Ed Hardy label from the ground up after taking it on in 2005.
Christian Audigier in Hamburg, Germany in 2010. Photo: Florian Seefried/Getty Images

Christian Audigier in Hamburg, Germany in 2010. Photo: Florian Seefried/Getty Images

French entrepreneur Christian Audigier, best known for helming the Ed Hardy clothing line, has passed away at age 57, LATF was first to report. The designer was said to have been battling Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), the same rare bone marrow disease with which "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts was diagnosed in 2012.

Audigier licensed the worldwide rights to the Ed Hardy brand in 2005, at which point the then-unknown label became the flashy, illustration-heavy retail empire that's still favored by a distinct celebrity set (i.e., Bret Michaels, Jon Gosselin, Guy Fieri, etc.). Much of Audigier's early success is attributed to marketing Ed Hardy to then-tabloid targets like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, as well as opening brick-and-mortar stores in trendy shopping districts. 

Prior to helming Ed Hardy, Audigier helped catapult trucker hat brand Von Dutch into early aughts ubiquity; before that, he held design roles at brands like Guess, Levi's, Diesel, Bisou Bisou and XOXO.