By Amy Elliott
Although Reed Krakoff assumed the role of creative chairman at John Hardy last fall (read JCK’s report on that news item here), it’s a taken a minute for him to reveal the full expression of his aesthetic vision for the brand.
Krakoff is no stranger to reviving heritage brands (see his fresh takes at Tiffany & Co. and his now-legendary tenure at Coach), tweaking their design codes to be something edgier, livelier, and sought-after on a larger scale. And his first formal collection for John Hardy takes a similar approach.
Titled Spear, it’s inspired by Balinese weaving to elevate John Hardy’s signature textures in a modern way. Featuring an updated bypass silhouette in a bracelet and a choker, each jewel houses a hidden titanium wire, giving it a flex feature for easy and adjustable wear. The collection is offered in variations of gold, silver, mixed metals, and diamond accents.
Spear marks the beginning of Krakoff’s overarching mission to inject new creative energy into the almost 50-year-old jewelry house.
Bridging together John Hardy’s traditional Balinese jewelry-making techniques with Krakoff’s affinity for sleek, modern design stories, Spear also marks a new chapter within the brand’s popular Icon series, which centers on a handwoven precious metal chain.
“The opportunities to interpret, modernize, and create something beautiful became endless,” Krakoff tells JCK. “I challenged myself to preserve the foundation of John Hardy’s core designs, so the brand evolves seamlessly.
The Spear pavé flex cuffs start at $1,795; the Spear choker is $2,500 in silver and $11,500 in 14k gold.
“With Spear, the collection reimagines these designs by bridging heritage with modernity.”
Reed Krakoff is the creative chairman of John Hardy and a strategic adviser to L Catterton, John Hardy’s majority shareholder.
How hard was it to adapt his vision to fit a well-established and seemingly finite brand vocabulary? Given how often he’s undertaken to do this throughout his career, it would seem that it’s something he relishes.
“To design for an existing brand, you have a foundation to build on with the challenge to balance the past with the current and what’s relevant to today,” he says. “I love the process of immersing myself in a brand and teasing out the most powerful and relevant qualities. It always takes time and patience, but once you understand the unique DNA, things fall into place.”
And Spear doesn’t so much fall into place as it does stick the landing—so clean and sharp you can almost hear it. It’s piercing.
Look at its line and form closely for indications of what to expect from future John Hardy collections. With Krakoff calling the shots, it’s a future defined by “sensual, cool, and luxurious designs,” he says. And also: “Everyday luxury.”
Top: For John Hardy’s new Spear collection, creative chairman Reed Krakoff created flexible bypass silhouettes in textures inspired by Balinese weaving techniques.