Hermès has taken a minority stake in Pierre Hardy, the company of its longtime footwear designer. “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 brand, known for its pricey Birkin and Kelly bags, said in a statement on Wednesday. Hardy, who launched his label in 1999, has designed Hermès’ footwear since 1990 and added jewelry to his responsibilities in 2001.
Of the acquisition, Hardy, who is known for his color combinations and architectural silhouettes (such as the Balenciaga Lego heel), said: "I'm very pleased, and very proud, of our alliance with Hermès, a house which champions the exceptional. It's the natural extension of 25 years of creative collaboration." The move adds to Hermès' interest in the luxury footwear market — the company also owns traditional British shoemaker John Lobb — and marks a new period of growth for Pierre Hardy as it pushes forward with its expansion plans at time when demand for shoes is outpacing bags and apparel.
Per Axel Dumas, Hermès international chief executive, "I'm delighted with our partnership with Pierre Hardy, which shows how proud we are to support creative talent and incredible expertise as part of this unique tribe that strives for excellence."