Shoe In: Pierre Hardy On His New NARS Collaboration
Even before his well-loved collaboration with Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga and his capsule shoe collection for Gap, Pierre Hardy was a bona fide design legend. He was tapped by Christian Dior to helm its women’s shoe collection in the late eighties, and then by Hermès, where he was named creative director of men’s and women’s footwear and ultimately fine jewelry as well. Much to the delight of beauty fiends across the globe, Hardy dipped his toes into the beauty sphere last year with a series of objets d’art for Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle’s lineup of travel sprays; next month, he will take a legitimate plunge into the medium with a debut makeup partnership with NARS Cosmetics. “It didn’t take a lot,” Hardy admits of the process by which François Nars’ namesake brand convinced him to turn his attention to the business of pigments and powders—two, richly hued blushes embossed with his signature cubic print, and six nail polish duos housed in mini shoe boxes that come with their own dust bags, similarly to how a pair of the heel master’s architectural stilettos might be packaged, to be exact. Style.com sat down with Hardy to discuss his first foray into cosmetics, his low-maintenance grooming habits—he cuts his own hair!—and why, as far as he’s concerned, he is “working on beauty every day.”—Aja Mangum
Collaborations are a dime a dozen these days. Why do a color collection now? Why NARS?
“Because they came to me. And I said, ‘Yes, why not?’ There were some aesthetic links with how NARS does beauty and how I’m doing shoes and fashion. It was something we could do together that could be fun, interesting, and consistent. I went to the meeting room with all the products and they were all so beautiful, seductive. It looked like a painting box—a shop for artists with paintings, colors, crayons, like a super sci-fi painting box. It was very attractive. It would be nice to be a part of it. I was convinced.”
Did you draw inspiration from your own line when conceiving your color palette?
“All of the colors were from the [Spring] shoe collection that was just finished. I took some leather—a real sample—to make the color of the nails. We started from the real material of the actual shoe!”
It’s almost a tease to give the public only blushes and polishes! Why no shadows or glosses?
“I couldn’t pretend to do everything!”
Not to put you on the spot, but what does beauty mean to you?
“It’s a big question, a marvelous question. I think that I’m working on beauty every day. It’s a different approach, a different way with different tools, with what I’m doing with the shoes, but I try to express the same feeling through the color palette. It’s a game with your appearance, with how you want to be one day and different another day. The beauty of fashion is we’re always reaching for something new, strong, different, and consistent, but we play with it. It’s a big challenge to do something real, interesting—something new with which you can recognize.”
How do you “work on” your own beauty. Do you have a regimen that you stick to?
“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. I’m a little bit lazy. I use a facial wash, body wash, and body cream. My body lotion is La Roche-Posay. For my face, I use Crème de La Mer because it’s not too sticky. I used to wear the same [fragrance] all the time, but now I have three to four scents. One is Laurel by Commes des Garçons. I don’t like green citrus. I like heavy amber musks. I don’t like fresh—clean, but not fresh. [But] I’m not too picky. I hate men that are too metrosexual. It is not sexy or even charming.”
Pierre Hardy for NARS Cosmetics, available May 1 at www.narscosmetics.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Pierre Hardy; Courtesy of NARS Cosmetics