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 beginning, 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.