Taking its relationship with the French footwear maven to the next level, Hermès Group now has a minority stake in Maison Pierre Hardy.

Hardy has designed Hermès’ footwear since 1990 and added jewelry to his responsibilities in 2001.

“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 luxury firm said.

Hermès Group also owns the men’s footwear brand John Lobb.

Known for his color combinations and architectural silhouettes, Hardy founded his signature label in Paris in 1999.

At a talk recently, Hardy said his business is split almost equally among the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East/Russia, with each accounting for about 25 percent of sales.

Hardy’s men’s business accounts for 20 to 25 percent of global sales. Handbags, he said, account for roughly 20 percent of his women’s business.

 In a statement, the shoe guru characterized the investment by Hermès as “the natural extension of 25 years of creative collaboration” and lauded its legacy of championing “the exceptional.”
Axel Dumas, chief executive officer of Hermès International, said the partnership “shows how proud we are to support creative talent and incredible expertise.”

Last March, Hardy opened his first boutique in Japan, only his third in the world, in Tokyo’s stylish Aoyama area.

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