French Sneakerhead Secret: Why Pierre Hardy Should Be Your Next Shoe Obsession

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When it comes to luxury French footwear, Pierre Hardy is in a league of his own. The Paris-based designer is famous for his luxury men’s sneakers and women’s footwear.

Celebrities who have worn Pierre Hardy shoes include Margot Robbie, Sarah Paulson, Kristen Wiig, LeAnn Rimes, Miranda Kerr, Solange Knowles, Katie Holmes, and Kate Beckinsale.

Before launching his eponymous brand, Hardy oversaw the creation of one of Hermes’ most iconic designs, the ‘Oran’ sandals, and has links to Balenciaga.

Pierre Hardy is a French fashion designer who specializes in luxury footwearPierre Hardy is a French fashion designer who specializes in luxury footwear (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

While ‘Pierre Hardy’ is a name that not everyone will recognize, you can guarantee you’ve seen shoes designed or inspired by the Parisian. If you’re a fan of luxury sneakers and elevated basics, you’ll find an instant affinity with Pierre Hardy.

We’re exploring everything you need to know about Pierre Hardy, his eponymous footwear brand, and where you can purchase his shoes.

From Art Teacher to Fashion Icon: Pierre Hardy’s Unexpected Journey

While other Parisian designers studied fashion design or began their careers in French ateliers, Pierre Hardy started as a teacher specializing in plastic arts.

Posing with Sofia Vassilieva and Abigail Breslin, actress Cameron Diaz wore an Alexander McQueen asymmetrical zip dress with blue suede Pierre Hardy peep-toe heels at the 2009 Teen Choice AwardsPosing with Sofia Vassilieva and Abigail Breslin, actress Cameron Diaz wore an Alexander McQueen asymmetrical zip dress with blue suede Pierre Hardy peep-toe heels at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 9, 2009, in Universal City, California (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)

Hardy studied at Ecole Duperre in Paris before becoming a magazine illustrator, including Vogue Hommes and Vanity Fair Italia. At the end of the ‘80s, Hardy began working at Christian Dior styling shoes before switching to Hermes.

It was at this iconic French fashion house that Pierre Hardy would make his name. In 1997, he designed the ‘Oran’ sandals that continue to be one of Hermes’ best-selling styles.

Singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel shows off her feet in Pierre Hardy luxury shoesSinger-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel shows off her feet in Pierre Hardy luxury shoes (Credit: Shutterstock / Lev Radin)

Hardy also oversaw the design of the ‘Quick’ trainers, the first designer trainer made using leather from a luxury brand. He also oversaw jewelry as part of his portfolio at Hermes.

Hermes to Balenciaga: Unveiling the Pedigree of Pierre Hardy’s Luxury Label

Pierre Hardy launched his eponymous brand in 1999, selling over 5,000 pairs of shoes within the first year.

At its launch, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus stocked Pierre Hardy’s shoes. Over time, the brand evolved to offer accessories and footwear for both men and women.

The classic Hermès Oran sandals were created by luxury shoe designer Pierre Hardy in 1997The classic Hermès Oran sandals were created by luxury shoe designer Pierre Hardy in 1997 (Credit: Hermès)

As a luxury brand, a minority stake in Pierre Hardy was sold to Hermes in 2016, cementing its status as a high-end designer brand.

While developing his brand, Pierre Hardy also took on the women’s footwear portfolio at Balenciaga from 2001 to 2012.

Crafted in Italy, Worn by Stars: The Allure of Pierre Hardy Footwear

If you want to invest in luxury shoes, Pierre Hardy is one brand you want to check out. While they’re not as recognizable as Balenciaga or Hermes shoes, you can expect the same luxury quality from this brand.

Pierre Hardy shoes are almost all exclusively made in Italy using the same manufacturers as several other luxury French brands. The brand describes its manufacturing as “an integral part of its identity.”

Kate Bosworth in a Chanel Haute Couture Fall 1992 dress and Pierre Hardy shoes arrives at “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” – Costume Institute GalaKate Bosworth in a Chanel Haute Couture Fall 1992 dress and Pierre Hardy shoes arrives at “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” – Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 5, 2008, in New York City (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)

When shopping for Pierre Hardy shoes, remember that the shoes are made with French sizing. Reviews online differ as to whether the shoes run true to size. While some reviews state that the shoes run a full size bigger, others suggest you should size up half a size.

Pierre Hardy shoes are found on the brand’s website and from most popular luxury retailers, including Farfetch and Bergdorf Goodman.

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