“Just show me half a centimeter of a heel, and I instantly recognize the model which I created,” said Pierre Hardy. “It’s like a puzzle, one piece reveals the entire image.”
Thursday night saw the opening of the “Walk With Pierre Hardy” exhibition in Paris. The show was the culmination of a collaborative project between the cobbler and photography students from ECAL/University of Art and Design, Lausanne. Together with course tutor Philippe Jarrigeon (the fashion photographer behind the campaign for Marni’s collaboration with Zalando), Hardy selected 15 models from his archive. Each student was allocated a shoe (they drew lots, to make it fair) and visually reinterpreted it using the medium of photography.
“The students told me what they wanted to express,” said Hardy. “I used to be a teacher myself [at Paris’ Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués Duperré, where I taught scenography], so the challenge was to not act as a teacher and guide them but to be a client as if they were pitching a campaign to me.”
Each representation brought out an underlying quality in the shoes, he said. His Blade shoe, one of the first he ever created, was treated by Anais Leu “like a kinky shoe, a Saturday night shoe because of the red color and the heel.”
“I didn’t project this deliberately,” Hardy added, “but perhaps I did it subliminally without knowing it.”
The show runs today through Nov. 13 at 9-11 Place du Palais-Bourbon, 75007 Paris.