August 23 2014

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Pierre Hardy’s New York


The New York skyline reconfigured as a glittering pump—that’s what you can expect to find at Pierre Hardy’s new West Village shop (left), his first in the U.S. and third worldwide, which opens this Wednesday. Hardy and David Mann of MR. Architecture + Decor gutted an old garage on a quiet strip of Jane Street and rebuilt it as an urbane little cavern, with smoky glass partitions, original cinderblock walls, and construction-style I-bar benches. On the eve of his NYC debut, Hardy spoke to about city girls, New York style, and his favorite neighborhood burger.

Pierre Hardy opens December 8 at 30 Jane St., NYC, (646) 449-0070,

This shop will be your first in the States. Is it similar to the two you already have in Paris?
It’s a [continuation] and also a contrary. Because in Paris, you know, it’s an old town, with historic monuments—you have to deal with that, to keep it as it is, not touch it. [You] make it modern as much as you can, but there are things that you can’t touch. Here it was the contrary. The place was nothing—it was a garage. We almost had to rebuild it from the beginning to the end. The issue was to transform it into something precious and sophisticated and new. I tried to build this box, this glass box inside these raw walls—to keep the two feelings. Those original walls are very New York for me. I wanted to keep it, and bring this modernity and preciosity also. That was the challenge.

Did you have your heart set on this neighborhood?
I was hesitating between uptown, downtown, uptown, downtown for a long time. I found the ideal shop uptown, too, at the same moment. I was like, what do I do? I couldn’t do both at the same time, of course. But finally, I think the mood of the collection, even the girls who love my shoes, are more here than uptown.

About those girls. How do you think their style compares to that of their Parisienne counterparts?
For me, I always wonder why the Frenchwoman is supposed to be the most elegant. Sometimes, [she] is, but not often…[Laughs.] In New York, the girls, maybe for their everyday life, they dress a little bit less, but when they do it, they do it right! That I love.

Tell me a little bit about the Skyline shoe (below) that you’ll debut at the opening.
It’s about New York. I thought about naming it Paris/New York, but it’s more New York than Paris, honestly. It’s the story of the season—everything came from this heel, that’s like a bar. As simple as possible, very geometric. I wanted to create these jewel shoes, and all these jewels together, it was too much—so I thought, let’s do it flat, like a collage, trompe l’oeil. At the end it reminds me of the skyline, the towers, the glass facade of New York.

Well, with this shop you’re officially becoming a New Yorker, at least part time. Any local favorites?
Yesterday I tried Corner Bistro, the burger place [331 W. 4th St., (212) 242-9502]. It’s so great! I knew New York a long, long time ago, and some of these places tend to disappear. There’s less of these old-school New York places; there’s not so many. Of course I love the new things, but I love this [old] New York, too. Like Lucky Strike, for example, is a very old-school bar [59 Grand St., (212) 941-0772]. For me, the most beautiful place in New York is the Four Seasons [99 E. 52nd St., (212) 754-9494]. It’s like a movie—suddenly, you went to another era of the U.S.A. It’s a dream America of the sixties, but it’s amazing.

Photos: John Aquino