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Ed Hardy's Alter Ego, The Same Guy, Debuts on Melrose

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True story: the Racked LA editorial team met for breakfast in Beverly Hills on Saturday. We saw an SUV rolling down Beverly; the back window had a big-ass The Same Guy sticker on it. Then some middle-aged guy who was balding with a ponytail got out, and he was wearing a leather jacket that had The Same Guy painted in big block letters across the shoulders, right above an American flag. We were all howling. And based on that impression alone, we were sure that The Same Guy would be the same old stuff.

We know that you know that The Same Guy is another offering from Von Dutch/Ed Hardy godfather Christian Audigier. But did you know the store opened this Friday?

The store is done up in a rough-hewn, log cabin, Americana sort of vibe. It's tasteful and probably cost a lot of money, but it could have been any other store for a million other brands: there was nothing distinctive about it, and nothing that ties the store to the brand. But beyond that. There wasn't a rhinestone, screaming eagle, dragon or trucker hat anywhere in sight. Just racks and racks of brightly colored cotton tees, tanks, henleys, and a few dresses for the ladies.

The tees are all well-made and soft; we tried on a selection of both men's and women's, and they fit pretty true to size. The prices are reasonable: while we thought that $29 for a ribbed tank was a little high, most of the tees were between $30 and $40, which isn't a horrible price for a plain shirt.

With the exception of a few Same Guy silkscreened tees, each garment is affixed with a small embroidered peace sign (the two fingers), the American flag, or a map of America. We're not communists or anything, but we just don't want emblems of any kind on our clothing. And it's stitched on but good. Probably the only way to get rid of it is to cut a hole in the shirt.

Objectively, there's nothing wrong with the store or its offerings. So we can't totally hate on it. And yet?

The whole idea is just so weird. Like we can't figure out who's supposed to buy this. The brand's tagline is (wait for it) The Most Famous Brand in the World. Um, really? If that's the case, this brand has a long road ahead of it, since the people who know and like Ed Hardy probably won't buy non-Ed Hardy Ed Hardy, and the people who know and dislike Ed Hardy probably aren't ever going to buy anything. So the paradox would seem to be that The Same Guy needs to appeal to people who don't already know about Ed Hardy—which sound impossible if it is, in fact, the most famous brand in the world.

As a postscript, we'll add maybe we CAN hate on it a bit. We were rummaging around on the internet and found a few publicity stills. We've included one of them, of a girl wearing a shirt that's been sliced and diced to the point of being mesh. Oh Lordy.
· The Same Guy [Official Site]

The Same Guy

8335 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA