For three decades, French shoe designer Pierre Hardy has exerted his influence on the world of fashion through his own label and tenures at luxury houses including Dior and Hermès.
Educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Cachan, France, Hardy graduated with a teaching degree in plastic arts. After his studies, he joined a professional dance company, before taking up a position assisting a shoe designer. In 1987, he secured a design position at Christian Dior, where he worked until 1990.
After his tenure at Dior, Hardy was appointed creative director for the women’s and men’s shoe collections at Hermès. In 1999, alongside his role at the French luxury house, he established his own shoe brand. In 2001, he took on the additional role of creative director of fine jewellery at Hermès.
The same year, Nicolas Ghesquière invited the designer to work with him on footwear for Balenciaga, a collaboration that lasted until 2013 and solidified Hardy’s status as one of fashion’s leading footwear designers. The designer was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2015.
Today, Hardy’s eponymous footwear brand has expanded into bags and built up over 200 points of sale, including three Pierre Hardy boutiques. In 2016, Hermès acquired a minority stake in the business.