Pierre Hardy on Fashion Illustration, Hermès at FIAF Talk

Photo: pierrehardy/instagram

Last week Thursday, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in New York City hosted the “Art de Vivre: Talk with Pierre Hardy”. The discussion was moderated and curated by journalist Melissa Ceria.

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Pierre Hardy began his career as an illustrator where his path led him to work for Vogue Hommes International and Vanity Fair Italy. He worked as an illustrator to offer a different perspective on the runway than what was being captured by cameras or even journalists.

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“[I] focused on the silhouettes and what was happening at the moment,” Pierre shared during the hour-long talk.

Photo: malendyer
Photo: malendyer

With a self-proclaimed “atypical background”, when Pierre was only 10, he dreamed of going to the Moulin Rouge. He spoke to what attracted him to this scene.

“The fake luxury. In the end, it was like a moving painting – the girls, the glitter – it was all fascinating.”

At 13, Pierre began his life as a dancer. As he admitted, he was too old to be able to do it professionally. In turn, the love of movement seemed to be present within him from quite an early age.

Flash forward to his time after illustrating when his career in shoe design began.

“It sounds like a dream or naïve today, but it was simple – 10 minutes to design.”

“It sounds like a dream or naïve today, but it was simple – 10 minutes to design,” on how his early career began.

Pierre worked for Christian Dior, from 1987 to 1990. He then began his career at Hermès, which he still works at today, and he shared his thoughts on being able to design trends.

“You can’t calculate this – what’s going to be a top seller. I’m working on f/w 2018 now. How will I know what will be a best seller, a trend, now?”

Additionally, Pierre spent time collaborating with Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga.

He spoke about this part of his career and how Nicolas pushed him, in a positive way, “We were always searching for something new, something different.”

And, how he views his role, as it relates to designing and no matter what fashion house he is working for, “I’m a translator. What I’m feeling inside is what I need to translate into something sensible, something we can feel and touch.”

“You can’t calculate this – what’s going to be a top seller.”

From illustrating to shoe designing, Pierre has had quite a journey.

“Everything I did was so organic, so random,” Pierre commented, specifically as it related to how he began to design jewelry 15 years ago. That venture began with a simple conversation.

So, be open, who knows what doors may open when you least expect it. As for Pierre, there is certainly more to come, and we look forward to seeing what is next.

Connect with Pierre Hardy:
Instagram @pierrehardy

Connect with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF):