Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fashion - Making a statement

Now everyone can get a tattoo, thanks to fashion label Ed Hardy.


WITH more people decorating their bodies with tattoos, inking yourself has never been more in vogue. Thus it makes sense that tattoo-inspired fashion label Ed Hardy should choose to launch a store here.

Everyone who's someone, from the likes of David Beckham, Fergie, Leonardo DiCapario to Jessica Alba, have been spotted in Ed Hardy gear. Now, with the unveiling of its flagship store in Suria KLCC, Malaysians will finally have a chance to check out the cult street fashion label for themselves.

Based on the designs of legendary tattoo genius Ed Hardy, these garments are not just fashion; they reflect a passion for colour and individuality. Like tattoos, there is a different Ed Hardy piece for every person.

The man behind all this attitude is designer Christian Audigier, who has worked with brands like Diesel, Naf Naf and Levi's.

Inspired by the youth of America, vintageinspired fashion, Hollywood stardom, and motorcycle and tattoo culture, Audigier was very taken up with Hardy's artwork.

In the effort to bring together tattoo culture and fashion, he purchased the rights to Hardy's designs; with that, a new fashion subculture was born.

Ed Hardy Autralasia Region managing director Gary Berman, who was in Kuala Lumpur for the opening of the store, says the label allows people to express themselves through their clothes.

"I don't think people want to dress up in 'vanilla!'" he said. "People want to express themselves, but sometimes they're scared to wear something different, to stand out.

"Ed Hardy lets you put the pieces together however you want, in a way that makes you feel comfortable but also lets you make a statement."

Berman added that the idea was to have casual clothes that stand out. "This is casual wear that you can wear out. Like a tattoo, the clothes say something about you."

And while the strong colours and bold designs may seem youth-oriented, Berman insists that Ed Hardy caters to a very broad demographic.

"It's for everyone, from little kids and teens, to people in their 20s, all the way to those in their 50s. The designs are evergreen and a lot of these tattoos were created about 20 years ago. Out T-shirts are classics," he said.

According to Ed Hardy Malaysia general manager Azril Akmar, the clothes allow people to bring out "the rock star within".

"I've seen it on so many customers' faces. You won't know the feeling until you've actually tried on an Ed Hardy piece. It's just something

Malaysians have to experience for themselves," he says.

The Spring/Summer 2009 collection, which was launched recently during the label's grand opening, combines Ed Hardy's signature street sensibilities with a fun, lighthearted twist. Splashes of colours like red, pink, baby blue and green give the edgy clothes a carefree quality, and accessories like beads and wrist cuffs add a touch of the whimsical.

In keeping with the season, spaghetti straps, bikini tops, miniskirts and daisy dukes are out in full force for the girls, while the guys rock the casual look with bermudas, hoodies and polo Tees. To dress up the look, there are slick leather jackets and stylish embellished jeans.

Of course, it wouldn't be Ed Hardy without the trademark tattoos and true to form, even ultra girly or preppy clothes are funked up with hip artwork.