PIERRE HARDY: THE MAN OF DE­SIGN

Athleisure - - Athleisure Beauty -

Pierre Hardy is known as a phe­nom­e­nal de­signer who sees dance in his in­ter­pre­ta­tions of de­sign whether he cre­ates shoes and ac­ces­sories for Her­mès, a num­ber of his notable col­lab­o­ra­tions and of course his name­sake col­lec­tion, Pierre Hardy. His love of dance, de­sign and teach­ing is felt im­me­di­ately upon any con­ver­sa­tion with him.

His ca­reer in­cludes be­ing an il­lus­tra­tor for Van­ity Fair Italy and Vogue Hommes In­ter­na­tional, de­signer of women's shoes for Chris­tian Dior, be­com­ing the Cre­ative Di­rec­tor for Women's and Men's shoe col­lec­tion, as well as the Cre­ative Di­rec­tor for the Fine Jew­elry divi­sion of Her­mès (he still main­tains these roles with the brand), col­lab­o­rat­ing for over a decade with Ni­co­las Gh­esquière for the women and men's col­lec­tions at BA­LEN­CI­AGA - and this is just the quick high­lights.

In ad­di­tion to his cov­eted roles in the above, in 1999 he launched his own shoe line for men and women and at that time he also col­lab­o­rated with a num­ber of brands, in­clud­ing 3 shoe cap­sule col­lec­tions with GAP and he part­nered with NARS for a cap­sule col­lec­tion of nail pol­ishes and blushes.

We talked with Pierre to find out his thoughts on de­sign­ing the smart­watch band for Ap­ple Watch, what his process is like when he is de­sign­ing, what it was like to launch his own name­sake, his re­la­tion­ship with var­i­ous de­sign houses and the im­por­tance of sneak­ers.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: You have de­signed with Her­mès for a num­ber of years and have created iconic prints as well as pieces for the house. What was it like to have the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate the watch, band?

PIERRE HARDY: It's a very nar­row field be­cause I just did the bracelets and leather bands. My mis­sion was to think about what you can do with the band for the smart­watch. What was in­ter­est­ing for me as a de­signer was to link tech­ni­cally the watch with a high-end leather good - to make them work to­gether. In the be­ginn- ing, I was a lit­tle trepid won­der­ing if this was a good idea - but I was wrong. In the end, it worked so well - for both of the brands I be­lieve! The com­bi­na­tion and per­fec­tion of how it came to­gether and in work­ing with the team in Paris and to have that time to­gether was in­ter­est­ing.

AM: Will there be other wear­able de­signs in your fu­ture?

PH: I be­lieve it was just that one, but I would not say no if they asked me!

AM: Through­out your ca­reer, you have col­lab­o­rated with many de­sign­ers, what was it like work­ing with them?

PH: First as a point of clar­i­fi­ca­tion, I would say that my po­si­tion with Her­mès is not a col­lab­o­ra­tion, it's more like my sec­ond house. We've known each other for such a long time now. When we came to­gether, it was im­me­di­ate and there wasn't a hi­er­ar­chy. I was and am happy to be a part of the suc­cess of that house. The same can be said in work­ing with Ba­len­ci­aga. It fit and I liked, as a de­signer, the ex­per­i­men­ta­tion of what we created and it was very dif­fer­ent as a de­signer.

AM: It seems that when you de­sign with these cov­eted houses that you are in a state of trans­la­tion.

PH: Ab­so­lutely, I al­ways look to trans­form things into dif­fer­ent shapes - some­thing vis­i­ble, tan­gi­ble and sensible. Some­thing you can en­joy. I'm al­ways look­ing to un­der­stand as a means to de­sign into the pieces that you en­joy. I'm al­ways search­ing for some­thing new and bet­ter. I love the plea­sure and sat­is­fac­tion that comes from the work.

AM: How did cre­at­ing your own line come about?

PH: At that time, I had de­signed with Her­mes for about 10 years and wanted to cre­ate pieces that there wasn't a place for them in my work there. I came

to the re­al­iza­tion that I would have to cre­ate them in an­other space. I de­cided to launch 15 mod­els in my liv­ing room and I called the press and said, "I've made some shoes, would you like to see them?" I was lucky be­cause it worked for me!

AM: What were you look­ing to achieve with this line?

I would say that my po­si­tion with Her­mès is not a col­lab­o­ra­tion, it's more like my sec­ond house. We've known each other for such a long time now. When we came to­gether, it was im­me­di­ate and there wasn't a hi­er­ar­chy. I was and am happy to be a part of the suc­cess of that house. The same can be said in work­ing with BA­LEN­CI­AGA. It fit and I liked, as a de­signer, the ex­per­i­men­ta­tion of what we created ...

PH: I was naive when I first came out with my line. Look­ing back at the ini­tial of­fer­ing, it was a bit rough. When you start some­thing on your own it's so dif­fer­ent. The Amer­i­can press was very en­thu­si­as­tic - it was not the same in France. Neiman Mar­cus came and bought the first col­lec­tion - mir­a­cle. I told my­self that if I sold 1000 pairs of shoes I would be happy - I sold 3000! But when I first started my own line, the idea was there, but the qual­ity wasn't there yet - we were just start­ing out. I started the line be­cause I wanted new­ness. Peo­ple look to the past to recre­ate but I want to do so in a new way!

AM: You're known for de­sign­ing heels, bags, and jew­elry, but you also de­sign sneak­ers! Sneak­ers are on trend - do you think it will con­tinue to evolve?

PH: Yes I de­sign sneak­ers es­pe­cially for men! The lines be­tween sneak­ers and shoes is a blurred one now. It's one of the shoes that women have to wear now - it's our life­style and the way we go about our lives! You don't have to think about it and you wear it to be more com­fort­able and it's a key fash­ion item nowa­days. The main thing to note about them is it's youth. It's the best shoe to wear to look younger! You win 10 years - I'm not kid­ding! Youth his very im­por­tant and the feel­ing of young age is dy­namic and filled with en­ergy. I love wear­ing sneak­ers! It comes from your mem­ory of col­lege, ef­fi­ciency, sport, dy­namic speed. All of this to­gether - makes you bet­ter!

AM: What's your fa­vorite color?

PH: Black - I think ev­ery­thing is beau­ti­ful and bet­ter in black. The only color I like is red. Black is more of an ef­fi­cient and the­atri­cal color. It's phys­i­cal and op­ti­cal. Any­thing on a black back­ground looks bet­ter and more ob­vi­ous. Even my home is all black.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.