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It really is the month for shoe obsessives: Today Paris-based Pierre Hardy himself dropped by to open up his first US store on Jane Street in the West Village. The sleekly renovated "warehouse, garage, something that was almost nothing," as Monsieur Hardy described it, features shoes for both men and women, bags and small leather goods, plus some exclusives. The designer worked with architects to come up with a space that he described (in his lovely Parisian lilt) as "comfortable and intimate—in a way feminine, but in a modern way. Not like the cliché of femininity. I'm a boy, and I like architecture, so I try to combine these two feelings."
The dark boutique combines sleek lines with partitions that showcase the exposed brick of the original space. Shoppers can luxuriate in various plush seating areas strategically placed in the middle, or cozy nooks in the shop's corners. Plus, part of the floor is made out of sensuous black leather to protect the delicate bare feet of anyone trying on shoes.
And oh, the shoes! They run between $230 and $1800. Right now, the Resort collection is out on the floor, which means lots of feminine strappy sandals, bright color-block wedges, edgy black rock 'n roller platforms and more foot friendly gladiators. Then there's the mixed metal Empire State Building-high exclusive "Skyline" heel with a wide ankle strap boasting the NYC skyline, which can be yours for just $1500. For men, there are brogues, dapper loafers and some strappy mandals for the bold. There are also a small selection of bags running from $600 to $1500. The Spring collections should hit the floor in January.
Since we're just on the heels of a trifecta of designer shoe sample sales, we had to ask Pierre Hardy (or beg, rather) if he'd consider throwing a sample sale in NYC. Sadly, he gave us a "We'll see" since he's going to first concentrate on the store opening. But he did reveal that the sample sale frenzy stretches across the Atlantic to our usually cool-as-cucumbers Parisian counterparts. "I can tell you it's the same in Paris," Pierre says. "At five in the morning...waiting for the opening. It's crazy." One small consolation: Staffers indicate that the first boutique sales should start in May or June.
· RackedWire: Pierre Hardy Almost Open on Jane Street [Racked NY]
· Pierre Hardy [Official Site]