Christian Audigier, the man who had a hand in popularizing -- to the point of near extinction -- the flying eyeball logo and trucker hats of the Von Dutch label, and more recently built the tattoo flash art of Ed Hardy into a loud lifestyle brand that currently includes (but is in no way limited to) air fresheners, energy drinks and wine, is apparently getting ready to go all minimalist and subdued on us.
In a news release we received today, the designer announced that a new men's and women's apparel line, "free of graphics and logos ... inspired by the comfort and simplicity of vintage T-shirts" will be unveiled at the Project Las Vegas apparel trade show Feb. 16. In the news release, Audigier (who, we were told, was en route to Miami and unable to speak with us) likens the new apparel line to "your favorite pair of jeans, you will want to live in these clothes."
A company representative told us no photos of the new line would be available until the Las Vegas launch, but described the collection, which will retail between $32 and $92, as "soft, simple basics without any logos or graphic," including cotton T-shirts and knit tops for both sexes, a color palette that skews neutral and earth tone, and nary a robed geisha, top-hatted skull or crouching tiger silkscreen to be seen.
It's such a marked departure from the affable Frenchman's signature aesthetic -- a cacophony of color and a tendency toward over-larded embellishments (sequins! embroidery! foil!) -- it could easily be called "Ed Hardly (or maybe "Non Dutch"), but the actual name of the line is somehow even funnier: the same guy™ (That's right, all lower case with the trademark symbol appended).
Never one to think small, apparently Audigier's retail plans for the same guy™ include 20 standalone stores (with interiors described as "classic Americana and includes rustic elements of wood, iron and metal with textures of suede and leather"), a shop-in-shop concept targeting high-end retailers and a website (launching sometime in March).
The first store, slated to open later this month, will be located at 8335 Melrose Ave., a storefront currently occupied by an Ed Hardy Outlet.
Are you as intrigued as we are to see different stuff from the same guy™?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Christian Audigier styles model Kristina Marquetti in 2007. After helping propel the loud and logo-driven Von Dutch and Ed Hardy labels into every corner of the known universe, the designer has announced that he'll be launching a logo-free line at a Las Vegas trade show this month. Credit: Karen Tapia / Los Angeles Times