Sizing Up Dwight Howard's Latest Endorsement
However, this doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea for them to sign on as endorsers, which is exactly what former choirboy Dwight Howard announced this week.
Biloxi's very own Sun Herald has the press release in which Dwight divulges the following: "I'm a fan of the designs, and I feel blessed to be provided this opportunity." I don't pretend to know God personally, but I'm fairly sure that "endorsing Ed Hardy" is not on his list of "great and noble blessings to bestow upon the worthy."
Theology aside, there are major marketing pitfalls involved here. Rocking a label is one thing; being officially identified with it makes you responsible for, and eternally linked with, every single high-profile American figure fond of consuming the brand. In the case of Ed Hardy, this includes an alarming number of reality show stars. I have prepared this handy dossier in hopes that Dwight Howard will consider these unholy alliances, and plan his future with the company accordingly:
Kris Jenner, mother of the Kardashians: Not Khloe, the one with some cred; hubby Lamar Odom has his own line, Rich Soil, which is kind of like Ed Hardy taken over by an overzealous youth group. Seems like a better fit for Dwight, but whatever. Not Kim, although boyfriend Reggie Bush is a fan. There's a rear-end joke to be made here, except at this point, her name alone does the trick. Kourtney is pregnant, and you can't really wear psychedelic faux-rocker tees with a baby inside. It could grow up evil.
Bret Michaels: The star of Rock of Love, Rock of Love: Bus, and Rock of Love: The Apprentice, Michaels should know better. When he made his name as the front man of Poison, metal acts like Guns 'N Roses and Iron Maiden did a better job with this kind of iconography. Compared to either cover of Appetite For Destruction, or any Maiden poster that used to scare me when I was six, Ed Hardy is soft as hell. Then again, Poison never really excelled at this part of the metal game. Their strength really was the two-bit transsexual thing. Either Michaels is trying to correct this mistake this second time around, or just doesn't know any better.
The entire cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, especially Uncle Bumpy: Maybe there's some leeway here. After all, Dwight is from Atlanta, and grew up a strict Christian. Maybe he spent his entire childhood wishing he could wear the shirts that, from the looks of this well-received Bravo program, are the casual wear of choice for his city's best and brightest. However, I had to stop and wonder what was wrong with the world when Kandi's Uncle Bumpy, who is at least pushing 60, or Nene's husband Greg, no spring chicken himself. Were these gifts from the younger generation? Isn't there something pathological about a community that wants its elders wearing stripper tattoos on their proud chests?
Every single motorcycle show ever: Well, Dwight does want to follow in Shaquille O'Neal's footsteps, and Shaq is a motorcycle enthusiast. Plus, everyone in America loves motorcycles now, just like they do high fashion. Basic cable told them to. This might be why Howard thinks it's okay, or even a wise career move. Except ...
The Jersey Shore as myth, form, and idea: This ragged bunch really needs no more said about it, but suffice to say, this is the public's most recent Ed Hardy association. If that's the image Howard's going for, more power to him. Just don't expect those PED whispers to stop.