Don Ed Hardy vs. Sailor Jerry

About 3 years ago I discovered Ed Hardy. I didn’t know much about it, but I saw that they put out cool tennis shoes with koi fish tattoo images. They were very expensive and I quickly forgot about the company and shoes. The Christmas before last, my mom purchased me a nice pair of Sailor Jerry slip on shoes with a Sailor Jerry T Shirt.

And finally, one year later I see Ed Hardy everywhere. My first thought was, “Great! I can now purchase vintage tattoo design clothing at a reasonable price!” The first items I saw were in more neutral colors, which is great for vintage tattoos. Now lets fast forward a few more months to Spring 2009. Ed Hardy has become a vomit inducer for me. I see disturbing bright white sweatpants for girls with neon tigers crawling down a day glo bed of roses, and let’s not forget the rhinestones. The baseball caps are also a treat… It has basically turned into a disturbing hip hop fashion statement. I can’t even bear to look at the Ed Hardy racks in the mall any longer.

Aside from the neon and rhinestones, the enormous Don Ed Hardy logo in the back bothers me. Why can’t I have a nice tattoo design without making some brand statement. It is boastful as well as tacky. My Sailor Jerry clothing items feature a modest signature on the corner of the image, about an inch or two wide. Nothing sprawled across the back.

I took the liberty of researching both artists on wikipedia. Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was born in 1911, and it turns out that Don Ed Hardy was one of his students in tattooing.
Sailor Jerry:

Sailor Jerry

Sailor Jerry

Ed Hardy:

Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy

When Sailor Jerry died, he gave the right to his art to Ed Hardy and another artist. They gave it to a small clothing company and as far as I know, that’s the same company who still runs it?

Now, Ed Hardy gave a guy called Christian Audigier the rights to use his art in clothing designs. Audigier was the designer who brought us the ever classy, Von Dutch.

Christian Audigier:



Anyways, I failed to properly set up this entry and it really isn’t very informative, and it is also very biased. I HATE ED HARDY AND LOVE SAILOR JERRY. The clothing lines anyhow. I know both were great tattoo artists. My final rant will be this. I compared both online stores for you, and let’s just say, I am surprised I didn’t have a seizure when I got a screen shot of the Ed Hardy store.. Not to mention the little maggot model that was featured.. He looks (as Nick might say) a lowest common denominator of a person.

Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy

Sailor Jerry

Sailor Jerry


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3 Responses to “Don Ed Hardy vs. Sailor Jerry”

  1. imaginationgirl Says:

    haha. awesome.

  2. Hawaii tattooer Says:

    If you knew Ed Hardy as I do you would know that he is suing audigier for $100M for breach of contract. He got screwed on this deal. Ed is a class act gentleman.

    • swallowaist Says:

      Well, unfortunately, I do not know, will never know, and have not known Ed Hardy. I am glad he’s suing that freak show, because I personally think he’s taking Ed Hardy’s designs in the wrong direction. But that’s just me, and I am not into flashy and glitzy things.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog though… I didn’t realize I would be getting so much traffic on my personal blog just by writing about a couple of clothing lines and the artists they came from..

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