#61 – (Even More) Ed Hardy

11 01 2010

We were wrong.

When we first started Things Bogans Like, we figured that a few cheap shots at Ed Hardy would be appropriate. After, all, we could see, firsthand, the encroachment of Ed Hardy replacing the briefly-flaming Von Dutch as the nouveau bogue uniform of choice. We witnessed the incidences of garishly dressed folk stalking what are quaintly referred to by local police as ‘nightclub precincts’ in all major cities of Australia. This, despite the best efforts of governments who have tried to ban alcohol from all venues that have tigers painted on the walls.

But we have made a discovery. We were wrong. Ed Hardy is no mere clothing line. Little did we know the staggering branding juggernaut that Ed Hardy had rapidly become.

Ed Hardy is a bowling alley. It is a vodka. It is a perfume. It is – wait for it – an energy drink. Bogans, it seems, simply cannot get enough Ed Hardy. Not satisfied with strange clothes, the bogan now, after a day at the gym or tanning salon, wants nothing more than heading down to the Ed Hardy bowling alley. It will play a few games while putting away a few HardyBombs (it bears mentioning at this point that, because of the equally successful branding attached to Jagerbombs, all bogan alcoholic drinks must now be an explosive of some kind) before heading next door to listen to cover bands pump out the latest tune by Kings of Leon at the ‘Rock’ Bar.

This is true inspiration on the part of the evil geniuses at Ed Hardy. A vodka and an energy drink. All with brightly coloured tigers splashed on every available square inch of packaging. But it gets better – the energy drink is marketed as a ‘celebrity energy drink’. Wait…that noise you just heard was the sound of about 200,000 bogans simultaneously soiling themselves in quivering excitement at the sheer notion of a celebrity energy drink (in massive cans) with colourful tigers.

But it doesn’t end there. With bogans, it never, ever, does. Ed Hardy also lend their name to beer, wine, baby clothes, snowboards, motorbike helmets, watches, an air freshener, iPhone covers, car seat covers, handbags, sheets, towels, a cologne, pet accessories, sunglasses, hookahs (seriously), tobacco (for the hookahs – including the forthcoming ‘Pirate’s Cave’ flavour!), lanyards, stubby holders, cigarette lighters, luggage, stationery, computers and computer cases, acrylic nails, gumboots, tanning lotion, ugg boots, umbrellas, wallets and purses, greeting cards, guitars (acoustic and electric), bowling bags (mandatory at the bowling bar), shower curtains, curling irons and hair straighteners, calendars and ski goggles. All covered with the skulls and cartoon evil that makes the bogan feel simultaneously tough and cutting edge.

The bogan, wanting to be ahead of the game that everyone else is playing, is on a mission to drape itself in as much Ed Hardy merchandise as possible, in much the same way they will buy up Kings of Leon’s old albums, in an effort to tie themselves to a band they were aware of only three weeks prior.

The spread of Ed Hardy may not ever end. Or, more likely, the bogan will grow weary of Ed Hardy, particularly when the nascent move of bogans into the flannel/country shirt spreads, making the overt garishness of horned, flaming animals suddenly tasteless in bogan eyes. Thus, flannel shirts will start coming in bright orange. And the cycle begins anew, as Mr Audigier looks to the next foregone cultural trend to pilfer.

#12 – Christian Audigier

28 10 2009

Christian AudigierChristian Audigier is an arsehole, but the bogan loves him. Despite not knowing who he is. Despite being his personal billboard for years.

Mr Audigier is the plastic-faced French fashion designer who has unleashed the visual misery of not just Von Dutch, but also Ed Hardy on cities worldwide. His technique is devastatingly simple: repackage Californian redneck pop art from the 1960s by printing it on hats and t-shirts, get some trashbag celebrities to wear it, and then affix astonishingly high prices to the products.  The bogan is willing to structure its entire month’s wages around the acquisition of one of these products.

“Von Dutch” was actually a Californian mechanic and car pinstriper named Kenneth Howard, who worked from the 1950s until dying of alcoholism-related causes around 15 years ago. His estate sold the rights to use his creative works to a Japanese conglomerate, who then on-sold them, and they eventually wound up in the filthy paws of Audigier. The brand’s time as genuine fashion was fleeting, before the bogan became aware of the brand and began paying $110 for a trucker cap bearing the logo.

Ed HardyOnce the Von Dutch trend waned, Audigier returned with something even more obnoxious – Ed Hardy. Hardy is a Californian tattooist and artist who sold the rights to use his 1960s tattoo work in 2002, which were once again snapped up by Audigier in 2004. The subsequent clothing line features retro tattooing (skulls, flames, predatory animals, and other things bogans like) covering large tracts of the garment, with t-shirts selling for between $150 and $250.

Bright metallic print and glitter is regularly present. The bogan, like a moth to a light globe, is drawn to the opportunity to display fashionable torso tattooing at venues that demand the wearing of clothes. If the bogan is able to afford multiple Ed Hardy garments, it can also indulge its short attention span by donning a different garment the next day, and hence a new set of tattoos. Being able to display large tattoo art in a nightclub or shopping centre environment increases the confidence of bogans, and makes it feel closer to Hollywood.

At the conclusion of the Ed Hardy fad, Audigier will retreat to his lair, flip through a retro pop art book, and plan his next cynical attack on the salary of the unwitting aspirational bogan.

Update August 2010: As predicted, the fad has waned, with the Australian division of the company placed into administration (hopefully contributed to in some small way by us). That said, it is likely that Audigier will return in a new, toxic guise. When this occurs, we shall fight it.

#9 – Getting Huge

26 10 2009

Gym attendance is a positive activity that can bring with it health and wellbeing benefits that extend across the lifespan. It’s great for the metabolism, bone density, and blood pressure, but these factors are entirely unrelated to why the male bogan joins the gym. He’s there to get HUGE. The bogan, with his poor coping skills and tendency to act impulsively, identifies the need to become the largest gladiator in the nightclub, both to catch the eye of the female bogan, and to become physically dominant over the other males. As with many other aspects of his life, he exhibits no subtlety or moderation; he craves the extreme.

Would YOU tell this guy he's a bogan?At the gym, the male bogan can generally be found near a mirror, dramatically swinging the largest dumbells he can pick up. Rather than working on his entire physique, the bogan exclusively targets the parts of the body that can protrude from a tight Ed Hardy t-shirt, creating an odd sense of proportion. As a result, he can always be seen working out in a skimpy singlet, but loose pants.

The bogan’s inability to resist an impossibly good shortcut will sometimes lead him to getting on the ‘roids, which speed up the process of getting huge, and reduce the amount of work required. The downsides, such as erectile dysfunction, testicular atrophy, paranoia, and increased aggression are dismissed. Once the bogan achieves a large size in the chest and biceps, he is then ready to apply his Ed Hardy and head to the nightclub with his boys. Normally, someone that got this large would consider getting serious about bodybuilding, but the dieting, lower body work, and discipline required to earn a bodybuilder’s lean physique are sacrifices a bogan is unwilling to make. Besides, if he can’t instigate drunken brawls and then wolf down a souvlaki in a popular nightclub district, what’s the point of getting huge in the first place?