In the 2000s, his brands were a pop-culture phenomenon, beloved by celebrities
Christian Audigier, whose clothes and trucker hats were once worn by every trendy young celebrity, has died of bone cancer at the age of 57, Variety reports.
The French-born designer (turned tabloid celebrity himself) got his rise in fashion designing “rock and roll-influenced” denim in France. He slowly made a name for himself as the “King of Denim” in his home country.
But it wasn’t until 2002 that he began to make a name for himself stateside, after being tapped as the denim designer for the newly formed Von Dutch company.
“I was dreaming all my life of America, of the blue jean, of Marlon Brando. And the trucker hat,” he told GQ in a 2009 article of taking on the role.
Soon, the infamous Von Dutch trucker hat business began booming. The cap, which was targeted at celebs and sold for $100 and up, was made hugely popular by young stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
After the success of Von Dutch, Christian Audigier launched Ed Hardy, a brand that featured the colorful artwork of a tattoo artist. It was instantly embraced by stars like Madonna, David Beckham and Jessica Alba — plus many a club-goer across the globe.
Audigier’s friendly relationship with celebrities — and his ability to promote himself as a star designer — helped push Ed Hardy sales through the roof. In 2009, sales were reported to have exceeded $700 million globally, and he was rumored to be working with both Madonna and Michael Jackson on clothing lines.
But its popularity didn’t last. The brand was quickly seen in every mall across America, and the celebrities stopped favoring it. It also became synonymous with a certain frat-boy culture and the celeb designer fell from the height of his fame.
In April of this year, TMZ reported that Audigier had been battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone disease, since January.
Audigier also told the site that he had been doing much better after a bone marrow transplant in March.