PARIS — Hermès Group has taken a minority stake in Maison Pierre Hardy, taking its relationship with the French footwear maven to the next level.
Hardy has designed Hermès’ footwear since 1990 and added jewelry to his responsibilities in 2001.
“The agreement highlights Hermès’ ambition to contribute to the label’s global growth dynamic and confirms the close and prolific relationship that has developed over the years,” the luxury firm said.
Hermès Group also owns the men’s footwear brand John Lobb.
Known for his color combinations and architectural silhouettes, Hardy founded his signature label in Paris in 1999.
At a talk earlier this month at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Hardy said his business is split almost equally among the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East/Russia, with each accounting for about 25 percent of sales.
Hardy’s men’s business accounts for 20 to 25 percent of global sales. Handbags, he said, account for roughly 20 percent of his women’s business.
In a statement, the shoe guru characterized the investment by Hermès as “the natural extension of 25 years of creative collaboration” and lauded its legacy of championing “the exceptional.”
Axel Dumas, chief executive officer of Hermès International, said the partnership “shows how proud we are to support creative talent and incredible expertise.”
Last March, Hardy opened his first boutique in Japan, only his third in the world, in Tokyo’s stylish Aoyama area. At the time, he said the choice of Tokyo was a natural one.
“It’s one of the [top] cities in the world, so it was something obvious in a way. But we are still a baby brand. We look big and we have a fantastic echo in the press, but we’re still very small regarding some other [aspects]. So it was a big step for me to open here,” the designer said.