French fashion designer Christian Audigier dies aged 57 in Los Angeles



French fashion designer Christian Audigier has died in Los Angeles at the age of 57. Raised by his single-parent mother in the southern French city of Avignon, he made fortune by designing street wear that was adopted by stars, including Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian, Madonna and France’s own Johnny Hallyday.

«He is someone who changed fashion and street wear,» his friend and spokesperson Michele Elyzabeth said after announcing his death at the Cedars-Sinai hospital from cancer.

Audigier was born in Avignon in 1958 and raised along with a younger brother and sister by his single mother.

He started working in the fashion industry after leaving school at the age of 14, designing a line of denim wear before leaving for the US.

He is reported to have lived between the US and France for some years before formally moving there in 2000, following a spell in prison for possession of drugs on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Having relaunched the Von Dutch label, he convinced Britney Spears to wear one of his caps, later persuading Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Michael Jackson and other stars to wear his clothes and publicise his brand.

He also founded French rocker Johnny Hallyday’s label Smet.

Hallyday, who also lives in Los Angeles, tweeted a tribute: «RIP ChristianAudigier my friend since forever. I love you, Johnny.»

In 2011, according to US media reports, he sold his label Ed Hardy to Iconix Brand Group for 62 million dollars (55 million euros).

Audigier lived with Brazilian model Nathalie Sorensen and had four children.