Allow Ed Hardy to reintroduce itself. The brand best known for its in-your-face graphic T-shirts, relaunched this week with an event during New York Fashion Week: Men’s on the Lower East Side, in partnership with speakeasy art gallery and lifestyle brand Good Luck Dry Cleaners.
“Iconix has an opportunity to reinvent Ed Hardy by drawing on the true heritage of the brand: the art and legacy of Don ‘Ed’ Hardy,” said Bob Galvin, chief executive officer and president of Iconix Brand Group Inc.
Iconix, the parent company of Ed Hardy, teamed with new licensee Vanilla Star to reintroduce the label, known for its tattoo artwork. At one point, the brand had sales of $700 million, and this is a higher-end reissue intended to bring the label to a new audience.
Galvin continued, “We are writing a new chapter for the brand with the launch of this elevated and artistic new collection.”
The event served to introduce the spring 2019 collection, which celebrates the legacy of the retired tattoo artist. It went back to its roots with an elevated, and at times understated, look. A mock Hawaiian allover print shirt trades floral for feline patterns and T-shirts have distressing on the collar resembling vintage rock ‘n’ roll Ts. The by-appointment-only collection includes hoodies in solid colors and bright tie-dye and leather and denim jackets refurbished and painted by artist partners.
All facets of the brand’s identity and ethos came to life at the launch event, with DJ Mick providing a hip-hop heavy mix and tattoo artist Jason Ackerman of Soho Ink tattooing partygoers by the entrance. Gold dog statuettes stood chained to a wall, while two small real dogs wearing caps and sunglasses sat in a mini convertible.
Provocative artworks ranging from paintings by Marcelle Murdock, stencil art by Lambros, whose real name is Matt D. Williams, and graffiti on canvas adorned the walls, and were provided by Good Luck Dry Cleaners. Phil Reese and Jeremy Penn, the founders of Good Luck Dry Cleaners, also handed out fortune cookies that shared funny quotes and plastic wrapped mints that were, according to the wrapper, for anyone who wished to get the taste of the old Ed Hardy out of their mouth.