Why Hermès Likes to Dress the Latest York Woman

Pierre Hardy might have been knowledgeable dancer. But in selecting an alternate route that led him to grow to be the creative director of shoes and advantageous jewelry for Hermès, he believes he’s been in a position to achieve lots of the same goals. “What I did with dance, and what I’m doing now, is help people to play with their very own bodies and provides them accessories to provide what they need for themselves,” he says. “A greater image, in a way. To be yourself, but higher.”

If that vision of self-betterment via fashion seems like a really American sentiment, chalk it as much as the designer’s stateside sensibilities. While Hardy is a native Parisian, he’s long enjoyed a romance with Latest York, splitting his time between the 2. He sings the praises of his former Chelsea abode, situated in the guts of the gallery district. “Once I was there just crawling around for five blocks, in two hours I could see probably the most unbelievable show of recent art,” he says. Work is underway on a recent Latest York home for Hardy, but when he had his way, he’d be living within the Brutalist constructing at seventy fifth and Madison that formerly housed the Met Breuer museum. “I feel it’s perfection,” he says.

Platforms, Hermès, $1,425.

Courtesy of the designer

Hermès, too, has long had a presence in town, dating back to its first Latest York outpost in 1929. This fall, the brand will open a newly designed flagship store on Madison Avenue that reemphasizes its American presence and serves as a hub of sorts. It’s going to reunite the lads’s and girls’s collections in a single location, housed in what was once the Bank of Latest York Mellon. The flagship will emphasize the thrill that may only be found with in-person shopping (and socializing: Visitors will discover a champagne bar, rooftop garden, and low bar).

“It may sound weird [to say] about such a giant store, but intimacy,” Hardy says of what he thinks the flagship can offer customers in what seems like a transitional time in retail. “To be treated one-to-one and to be in surroundings that make [people feel] free to decide on, to take their time, to be comfortable, and to feel reassured that they will stay nevertheless long they need…. After two years of online buying and ordering, individuals are very blissful to live again and have this shopping experience.”

Among the many treasures on display can be Hardy-designed shoes from the autumn 2022 collection, including embroidered cowboy boots and luxe shearling slides. He has worked for the home because the ’90s, a profession that was born out of his unusual knack for drawing. “Every thing got here from sketching, because that’s what I used to be alleged to do. I used to be not alleged to grow to be a shoe designer or a clothier. I used to be just lucky enough to be gifted, and I could draw whatever I wanted as a child,” he recalls. “That was actually the one thing I actually enjoyed.”

As an adult, he was asked to do some accessory illustrations for a magazine, which led to a design opportunity at Dior. “Someone said, ‘You’ll be able to draw a shoe. Why don’t you make it grow to be a product?’ I said, ‘Yes, why not?’ Very spontaneously, it was suddenly my job, and I used to be designing a shoe collection.” Since 1999, Hardy has been splitting his talents between Hermès and his namesake line of shoes—daring, brightly coloured sandals and sneakers with their very own distinct aesthetic. As he starts to design, he says, “I do know which specific sketch can be for Hermès and which can be for my very own collection. It’s like having a split screen, but they’re working together at the identical time.”

When Hardy joined the corporate, he had a century and a half of house history to attract upon. He compares his approach to “when an actor today is in a Shakespeare play. The text is from the Renaissance, however the guy resides now.” While he’s learned an excellent deal concerning the heritage of Hermès, “I attempt to forget it as much as I can and never be too heavy with archival [inspiration], because it could be a series. It may be a jail. I feel my job is to create the brand new classics, the brand new shapes, and to renew the Hermès look,” he explains. That approach has helped him provide you with contemporary classics just like the understated Oran sandal, which he introduced in 1997, and the Quick sneaker, the primary all-leather sneaker from a luxury house. His influence has even spilled over to beauty, via the graphic packaging he designed for Rouge Hermès, the home’s debut line of lipsticks.

met breuer

The inside of the previous Met Breuer, a Hardy favorite whose brutalist structure the designer calls “perfection.”

Spencer Platt

Those ended up being successful, despite debuting initially of the pandemic. “Everybody was hidden behind a mask,” Hardy says. “We immediately thought, ‘Oh no,’ but no, it was greater than advantageous. Some things are difficult to elucidate, but I feel a giant a part of the rationale [for the success] is the incredible trust people have on this brand.” That confidence was evident, he says, in the way in which by which Hermès sales grew in the course of the lockdown. “People couldn’t move, but they wanted recent shoes and recent things. It’s probably since the brand is so [associated] with quality and class and real luxury. I feel that offers some reassurance. Persons are quite sure that they are usually not making a mistake, even in the event that they buy it online or without trying it on or without going into the shop.”

In line with the home’s fresh presence in Latest York, Hardy used the autumn collection to offer stalwart American style the Hermès treatment. “I even have some American friends, and so they wear clogs on the weekend. I all the time adore it,” he says. “In fact, we made [ours] very clean, very minimalist.” Time spent on the streets of Manhattan has helped him develop a way for the differences between American and French style. “The U.S. girl pays more attention. I feel the French girls are more like, ‘Oh, who cares? I’m advantageous.’ An attitude like that,” he says. “In Latest York, after they determine to dress, they dress. I really like that.”

This text appears within the September 2022 issue of ELLE.

Adrienne Gaffney is an associate editor at ELLE who previously worked at WSJ Magazine and Vanity Fair.

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