Pierre Hardy presented his spring ’21 collection to press and buyers via a specially created private Instagram account.
The account, introduced by a video of the designer himself, showcases the collection via a combination of images, gifs and videos of the shoes in action.
“Everyone knows how to use it, It’s just like talking,” he told FN of the medium.
The introductory film shows Hardy sketching in his Paris studio where he unveils his design process and explains how the collection took shape.
At his physical men’s week presentations, the designer usually showcases his men’s offering with women’s pre-collection and vice versa. However, for this digital version, he showed both main collections at the same time.
“I don’t know if pre makes sense any more this season,” he said. “However the biggest issue is that we don’t know what’s going to happen in September [in terms of how many buyers will travel for the physical shows]”
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Hardy has been a vocal supporter of an industry move to streamline fashion’s retail calendar and was an early signatory to a proposal to this end in May, spearheaded by Dries van Noten.
The Instagram presentation format was experimental he said. “It’s a new challenge to consider product and the way we show it. Everything is evolving constantly and we have to adapt with it.”
As for the collection itself, he pared it back to focus on the essentials keeping the proposition as clean and clear as possible.
For men’s, he revisited the very first sneaker he created some 15 years ago — refining the silhouette and energized it with a stripe motif. This shoe and a new season stripy take on his best selling Vibe kick have proved most popular with buyers.
The stripe was also a prevailing theme in the women’s collection and he reinterpreted his classic Alpha sandal with the classic motif in embossed metallic python.
For Hardy the stripe is practically a neutral. “It’s a pattern but at the same time it isn’t a pattern,” he observed.
Both sexes’ collections also featured equestrian style sandals and clogs. Viewed in tandem, the unity in his creative becomes much more apparent.
Hardy has also been watching the month’s online fashion weeks with interest and last week’s Prada show was a favorite. “It was amazingly beautiful, strong and felt very relevant” he said, “I was overwhelmed.”
However he noted that overall, he felt only a handful of brands had succeeded: “It’s difficult to transform yourself from a fashion designer to a movie maker. It’s a very complicated exercise to shift from one system to another,” he said. “We all need to get used to this new way of communicating.”