During the Fall 2017 menswear shows in Europe, numerous brands—Prada being a prime example—referenced the 1970s. Many journalists saw it as a commentary on our current political climate—one that is screaming for a rebellion. Pierre Hardy, too, was feeling the decade while designing his Winter 2017 men’s offering, but according to the designer, his inspiration came from a different place. “That was when I was young!” laughed Hardy about the era. “That’s where I wanted to stay and to belong—I wanted a feeling of eternal youth.”
Hardy’s collection achieved just that by reimagining the concepts of East Coast prep and English sophistication. The former is exemplified by the Campus, a double-soled corduroy trainer offered in midnight blue and caramel that fuses vintage collegiate cool kid and suave man of today. The Aoyama, meanwhile, embodies the latter, lending the traditional golf shoe a Japanese-inspired cubist modernity.
Elsewhere, classic leather lace-ups or high-tops are embellished with ultra-retro club stripes; sneakers are given a Space Age twist with metallic accents and architectural soles; rich velvet slip-ons are at once regal and whimsical; and pale suede boots harken back to the days of Hardy’s youth.
“I was thinking of [the ’60s and ’70s] because it was the moment when young people were the most dreamy, fun, and free—much freer than we are today. Everything was more spiritual, more rock-and-roll,” Hardy said with a twinkle in his eye. When asked what had him feeling so nostalgic, Hardy suggested he perhaps craved a return to simplicity. “In this collection, there are some very modern, futuristic [elements], but there’s also something very low-tech, laid-back about it,” Hardy explained.
So, after taking this trip down memory lane, does Hardy prefer the past or the present? “I think people now are more informed. They know many more things than they used to, and they’re more connected to each other, but also to many, many things that happen in the world every tenth of a second. So, I won’t say that [the past] was better, we were just more naïve.” If this lineup is any indication, a little naïveté can go a long way.