TOKYO — Pierre Hardy opens his first boutique in Japan—only his third in the world—on Thursday. The 680-square-foot store is located in the stylish Aoyama area, where its neighbors include brands such as Comme des Garçons, James Perse, Theory, Dries Van Noten and Versus Versace. It carries the brand’s full line of women’s and men’s footwear and bags.
While the boutique shares some design elements with Hardy’s Paris and New York stores, it was also inspired by Japan. A trip to the small, art-laden island of Naoshima was the source of inspiration for black, charred wood display tables, and gold accents also mimic traditional Japanese aesthetics. Taupe velvet curtains and upholstery add a more European style contrast.
The shoe designer was in the Japanese capital hosting a cocktail party on Wednesday to celebrate the store’s opening. He said the choice of Tokyo for his brand’s third flagship store was a natural one.
“It’s one of the [top] cities in the world, so of course 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.
Hardy said that, while he doesn’t make collections specifically for any market, he enjoys seeing how customers from around the world wear his products differently.
“I hope to make people able to understand and have a global vision of the brand, a more complete vision of what I love.” he said. “Now all the fashion girls get the same information at the same moment all over the world, [but] the French girl wears [my brand] differently than the New York girl, and that’s what I like and it’s always surprising me. That’s why I never think about a specific woman when I’m working, because I know it is useless in the end — because all the girls are specific and the way of living is all about mixing and sampling.”
Hardy said he also loves to shop when he visits Tokyo, with some of his favorite brands including Comme des Garçons, 45rpm, Visvim and Undercover. This trip, he will also be spending three days in the historic city of Kyoto.