• Photo courtesy of John Hardy

  • Photo courtesy of John Hardy

     

  • Photo courtesy of John Hardy

     

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Photo courtesy of John Hardy

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John Hardy, the history of successful jewelry

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THE COMPANY

John Hardy is the luxury handmade jewelry brand founded on a synergy between designers and artisans who create objects of beauty in an environment of respect for people and the natural world. The company's signature collaboration between designers and artisans yields jewelry that unites the mastery of the talented jewelers who served Balinese kings with modern design interpretations. The John Hardy team is committed to its core values of authenticity, transparency, accountability and diversity.

THE BEGINNING

The story of John Hardy jewelry starts in 1975 when young Canadian art student John Hardy moved to the fabled Indonesian island of Bali and began studying local traditional jewelry-making techniques with a master artisan whose ancestors were goldsmiths among the island's former royal courts. As he adapted these techniques to fresh, new designs, Hardy formed the company in 1989.

MOVING TO A NEW DIMENSION

In the early 1990s, John Hardy initiated its first sales relationships with two of the most prestigious department stores in the United States: Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. The seed of the brand began to sprout, and by 1998, John Hardy was poised to move into a new dimension of excellence. In a strategic development, Guy Bedarida, a senior designer of haute joaillerie, joined the company as Head Designer and helped develop the John Hardy workshop and design center in the central highlands of Bali.

GOING INTERNATIONAL

In 2003, Damien Dernoncourt joined the company as President and immediately began to facilitate the growth of the brand internationally. As a result, that same year, John Hardy started to sell exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces in Hong Kong; shortly after, the brand came to be sold in Russia, Japan and Dubai.

HISTORY

SUCCESSFUL TRANSFORMATION

In 2007, Hardy retired and sold the company to Dernoncourt and Bedarida. Now helming John Hardy, the duo maintains the company's mission of becoming greener every day and the collaboration of designers and artisans. Simultaneously preserving the heritage and values of the company, Dernoncourt and Bedarida have upgraded the brand to a new level of luxury appeal and international recognition.

Immediately following this transition, John Hardy won the Town & Country Design Award for Best Silver for the second consecutive year at the Couture Jewelry Collections & Conference in Las Vegas, the Tiga Gunung building was completed, and the company began its first sales relationship with Europe. In 2008, John Hardy jewelry made its debut in one of France's most prestigious shopping locations, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris. In February 2010, John Hardy proudly debuted in the United Kingdom in Harrods and leading online retailer Net-a-Porter. In 2010, its first flagship store was launched in Jakarta, Indonesia.

John Hardy jewelry is known for its designs in sterling silver, symbolic of purity and associated with the moon and intuition. A signature feature of John Hardy jewelry, artisans develop the tendency of silver, the whitest of all metals, to oxidize (turn black) to create rich possibilities for contrast and texture in strong rhythmic patterns. This technique can be found in collections such as Bamboo, Carved Chain, Dot, Kali, Naga, and Palu.

Another attribute of John Hardy designs is the priority put on the "back grill," where cut work is etched on the inner surface of a piece of jewelry. The traditional Balinese technique of ukiran is employed in both abstract and figurative designs to create jewelry that tells a story. The back grill becomes like a secret story worn next to the skin, ensuring the inside of the piece is just as beautiful as the outer surface.

Signature pieces among each collection, John Hardy's iconic cuffs command the boldest rendition of each motif. Emblematic of power, the cuff is traditionally found on warriors and deities throughout ancient art.

DESIGNERS & ARTISANS

Early John Hardy pieces grew from four traditional Balinese jewelry-making techniques: rantai (woven chain); tenun (woven mesh); jawan (granulation); and ukiran (cut work).

In the late 1990s, Bedarida helped develop a new workshop and design center, a discreet cluster of bamboo and adobe buildings set among Bali's rice-growing country. The compound now provides a home for the creation of jewelry while also functioning as an organic farm in support of the company's commitment to sustainable living.

As the brand continued to explore the design possibilities of traditional jewelry-making, Bedarida also looked to contemporary technology for inspiration. Master jeweler and engineer Werner Bellezer joined the workshop in Bali and introduced modern technical elements for moving parts, such as springs and clips providing durability and comfort. One of their most striking innovations, Bedarida and Bellezer used an aerospace-industry material developed by NASA to design a flexible, titanium-core coil bracelet that is sheathed in hundreds of tiny elements of hand-worked silver.

TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES & INNOVATIONS

"We are always working do better. We are implementing energy-efficiency programs and evaluating ways to become a carbon-neutral, or even carbon-negative company, throughout all areas of our operations." Damien Dernoncourt  CEO, John Hardy

GREENER EVERY DAY

SUSTAINABLE ADVERTISING & CARBON OFFSET

Launched in 2006, John Hardy's sustainable advertising program calculates the carbon emissions associated with the company's print advertising and plants a corresponding number of bamboo seedlings in Bali. Since then, the brand has expanded the program to include offsetting the emissions from business air travel and electricity usage.

To provide an opportunity for customers to also participate, John Hardy created the "Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo" program, in which a portion of proceeds from the purchase of each piece of jewelry Bamboo collection is used to plant bamboo seedlings in the island of Bali.

BAMBOO PLANTINGS

To offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the company's day-to-day operations, John Hardy plants bamboo, the long-lived, rapidly growing woody perennial grass that is capturing the attention of environmentalists and sustainability advocates around the globe. Bamboo's biomass gives it an exceptional ability to sequester carbon dioxide, its root system helps prevent soil erosion and filters brackish water, and its dense foliage encourages rainfall and provides a habitat for wildlife, including the highly endangered Bali starling songbird.

In collaboration with the Bali Province Government's "Bali Clean & Green" program, John Hardy donated and planted 600,000 bamboo seedlings throughout all nine regions in Bali, in 114 villages, from the company's carbon offset and "Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo" programs. The completed planting took up a total land area of 1,500 hectares, which is approximately 4.4 times of the size of Central Park, New York.

In the effort to be Greener Every Day, John Hardy engages employees and surrounding communities to care more about the company's environmental impact on the world. The management team in Bali regularly participates in the planting and harvesting of the workshop's rice fields, an activity that provides a deep appreciation for the work of farmers everywhere and the labor that goes into growing food.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

As one of the largest private employers in Bali, John Hardy has now expanded their role from environmental activism to also include social activism in the Balinese community through the Jobs for Life program. Focused primarily on girls, but also open to boys, John Hardy pays for students' school fee for the last two years of high school and provides the students with an apprenticeship at the John Hardy Bali compound. John Hardy CEO Damien Dernoncourt and Creative Director Guy Bedarida started the program in 2009 to support severely disadvantaged Balinese children whose families did not have the means to feed, house or support them through school.

In keeping with these principles, John Hardy's offices in Hong Kong were designed according to strict green guidelines, using only natural, non-toxic materials. The result is not only a greener office but also an environment where employees are comfortable and feel a strong link between the Hong Kong location and the company's roots in Bali.

GREEN OFFICES

While visiting the John Hardy compound in Bali, Angela Lindvall immediately fell in love with the brand.

THE MUSE WITH SHARED BELIEFS

The model and green philanthropist discovered she shared her passion for the environment with Guy and both were eager to build their partnership. Guy subsequently found inspiration in Angela who became his muse and the new face of the John Hardy campaign.