Zhanar will come up with clever text or Karina... Definitely not Darina
THE PHILOSOPHY
OF FORM
SPECIAL FOR ÉTAGE LILIYA RAKH MET WITH PIERRE HARDY – ONE OF THE VERY RARE SHOES AND ACCESSORIES DESIGNERS, WHOSE DISTINCT STYLE WITH AN OUTSTANDING GEOMETRIC APPEAL AND METICULOUS APPROACH TO DETAIL HAS MADE HIM FAMOUS AROUND THE WORLD.
THE PHILOSOPHY
OF FORM
SPECIAL FOR ÉTAGE LILIYA RAKH MET WITH PIERRE HARDY – ONE OF THE VERY RARE SHOES AND ACCESSORIES DESIGNERS, WHOSE DISTINCT STYLE WITH AN OUTSTANDING GEOMETRIC APPEAL AND METICULOUS APPROACH TO DETAIL HAS MADE HIM FAMOUS AROUND THE WORLD.
Purity of lines and the compositions of volumes continually renew his creations, but always tend towards simplicity and elegance. With the vast background in dance and scenography and impressive work experience – from styling Christian Dior women's shoe collections and illustrating for Vogue Hommes International and Vanity Fair Italy to being the creative director for Hermès, and designing their first Women's and Men's shoe lines and working at Balenciaga with Nicolas Ghesquière for the House shoe collections, Pierre started his namesake brand in 1999. Since the very first season, the tone was set: the creative approach of Pierre Hardy was radical. It made its reputation by presenting elegant recognisable streamlined silhouettes and uncluttered models.

Purity of lines and the compositions of volumes continually renew his creations, but always tend towards simplicity and elegance. With the vast background in dance and scenography and impressive work experience – from styling Christian Dior women's shoe collections and illustrating for Vogue Hommes International and Vanity Fair Italy to being the creative director for Hermès, and designing their first Women's and Men's shoe lines and working at Balenciaga with Nicolas Ghesquière for the House shoe collections, Pierre started his namesake brand in 1999. Since the very first season, the tone was set: the creative approach of Pierre Hardy was radical. It made its reputation by presenting elegant recognisable streamlined silhouettes and uncluttered models.

I try to find the balance between creativity and reality in pure lines, sculptural shapes and architectural volumes.
PIERRE HARDY
– How are the shoe trends different from clothes trends? When do they coincide for you?
– Because I "only" do shoes, I can't build a global silhouette that would support some specific shoes, or establish a dialog between clothes and accessories, like all RTW brands are doing for shows and ad campaigns. On the other hand, the shoe industry process needs more anticipation than the RTW, and my shoe collections are generally almost launched when a trend is appearing with the RTW. So said, the trend is something I have to ignore, because I don't know which clothes will be worn with the shoes I am creating.

– It seems that the idea of producing beautiful things that don't follow trends is one of your core brand values. But what is a trend to you? And how aware should, in your opinion, a fashion brand be of trends?

I think you have to be conscious of what they are – today there is not one unique trend at a time anymore, – and then you have to forget it and go further. Beyond trends, I seek out graphic visions. Shapes, lines and structure are something I'm constantly exploring. Drawing is the writing out of thinking: it's the central thread, it's primordial. I express in lines what I see. It's the organization and the mastering of my gaze and of my thoughts.

– Pierre Hardy style is distinct, and combines elegance and geometry like no other brand. How would you describe your aesthetic?

I try to find the balance between creativity and reality in pure lines, sculptural shapes and architectural volumes. I try to make it as clean and radical as possible, and try not to mix things together too much, avoiding useless details. Creations are always like a dream, and my dreams are often oriented into the future. My work is a mix of different focuses: scales, distortion, mechanics and structure on one hand, and femininity, modernity, fluidity, movement and sensuality on the other.

– To what degree do your architecture and dance backgrounds influence your shoe designs?

Heels are the hardware of fashion. So in this sense they can be treated, as long as they can still play their anatomical function, as an architectural or sculptural objects. There is definitely a link between dance and shoes. It has enhanced my particular relationship to the body and allowed me to understand both how to constrain and how to literally transform it. The foot is the end and the basis of the body, at the same time.

– I know you have worked for Dior, Hermes and Balenciaga. How does that influence the freedom of artistic expression for a designer?

Constrains feed my freedom. Working in a frame, for any name – you give it, reduces the options, but empowers the choices you have to make. Also, it is very pleasant to play a part, a role. It allows you to create another character that is a part of yourself, part of creation of yourself. It is very entertaining!

– What is luxury to you?

Luxury should be the most subjective thinking notion. And it tends to become more and more of a trend. It should never be linked to money value or price.

SUMMER 2016 COLLECTION

Everything comes back to playful contrasts and tensions in the Spring-Summer 2016 Collection, structured around two major trends: a sixties pop aesthetic and
a more seventies-style folk spirit.


– Understandably, every collection starts with some idea or image. What are your images for the new season? And more broadly, where do you gain your inspiration?

With every collection, I try to bring something new, in the most radical way. My inspiration comes from different things that look beautiful to me, and always from areas far from fashion. They can be objects, places, conceptual or abstract art. This season, for example, one of my favourite thing are the lily sandals, in flat or high heels. It is the first time that I use a flower motif in my collection, but it looks like a pop stained glass, that evokes memories of Gilbert and Georges' photo montage.

– Lets talk about brand image. Who is she – a person that would perfectly represent your brand's values?

I like affirmed and sensual silhouettes. There is no Pierre Hardy woman, but she may be daring, self assured and very modern! It is not someone precisely: it is more a question of character: confident, open minded, body conscious… plus versatile and charming!

– Lately there's been a wave of celebrities in fashion ads and more and more of them at catwalks, and, ironically, less industry professionals. What do you think of celebrities as brand ambassadors?

I think that when a person and brand philosophy match, it is fine, when a celebrity embodies a brand – it is great! I like when a celebrity come to us because he or she loves the shoes – then we can build a consistent relationship.
«WITH EVERY COLLECTION I TRY TO BRING SOMETHING NEW, IN THE MOST RADICAL WAY»

"WITH EVERY COLLECTION I TRY TO BRING SOMETHING NEW, IN THE MOST RADICAL WAY"
– How does geography influence choices for a new collection? How different is it to produce for an Asian market? Japan? Europe? US? Russia? Do you take geography into consideration, or are you striving for a more universal image of your brand?

Consumers are now very aware, all over the world, of the same actuality at the same moment, at any place on the planet. And people are craving for almost the same things at the same time. So, the answer would be no – I don't think about geography of my customers too much.

– How do you think fashion should influence people?

One thing I don't understand is when people say: "I don't follow fashion". It is not an option. First, because fashion feeds itself with what and how people live. Then, what fashion produces is the mirror of our lives. And even if you "don't follow fashion" as soon as it appears you will, sooner or later, because fashion moulds how we dress, how we inhabit the space, how we eat. It is an interactive game, and in the end I think it makes us better.


Interview: Liliya Rakh for Étage Magazine
Date: April 2015