By Heather Dunhill
Guy Bedarida, creative director and head designer of the John Hardy brand, joined the company in the 1990s after receiving a call from Mr. John Hardy himself. Since then, he’s worked synergistically with the team, taking it to new heights with an eye on sustainability and social responsibility.
Guy’s passion for craftsmanship can be found in his joaillerie history, which includes the likes of Van Cleef & Arpels. Today he works closely with hundreds of artisan masters to create intensely coveted jewelry with a Balinese pedigree. Here we get to know the talented man behind the brand before his personal visit to Sarasota's Saks Fifth Avenue on April 16 from 1-4 p.m., where where he'll be signing pieces from his new spring 2013 collection. Interested? RSVP to (941) 364-5318. Or enjoy the John Hardy trunk show from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. that same day.
If you were to style your own editorial for the current John Hardy collection, what would it look like?
My editorial would be all about colorblocking--after all, spring is in the air! I would show my new chain collection in all of the beautiful colors that make you think of spring. I’d group pinks and purples together, blues and greens together….it makes you ready for the warmer weather!
What is the relationship between designing and creating the piece for you?
The relationship is very meaningful. The process begins with what I am inspired by--whether it be nature, culture, etc.–in Bali or throughout my travels. The artisans and I work closely together to make this vision come to life. The sketches lead to wax carvings, which eventually leads to handcrafted jewelry.
Are there more challenges in designing jewelry for women or men?
I would say designing the men’s line is a bit more challenging because the men’s customer base is much smaller. Though men’s style is evolving and becoming more and more diverse, I still find it difficult to capture that niche.
How has your French and Italian lineage influenced your work?
It has influenced me immensely! Both cultures are so rich in history, art and beauty that they have given me the foundation to apply past experiences to the techniques of the Balinese artisans. I always try to incorporate the beauty I see in the world I see to the jewelry.
Where is your favorite place to discover gemstones?
North of Thailand and Vietnam have some incredible gemstones – it’s truly a tremendous source of inspiration.
Who is your design icon?
Frederic Boucheron. I have an incredible amount of respect for the house he built and all he accomplished. I had a mentor at Boucheron who was very influential in teaching me my craft.
Since you travel extensively, tell us about a unique place you recently visited and why the culture inspired you.
Morocco! The spice markets really take over all of your senses. The colors, the energy and the scent…it really inspired my fall collection, “Fall for Morocco."
What do you always pack?
Apart from the essentials, a light cashmere sweater since it can be chilly sometimes on a flight and a Balinese silk scarf. They are hand made in beautiful colors and patterns…I just love them.
What’s your in-flight ritual?
A glass of Champagne, and I always have my iPod. I love to listen to classical and opera music while drinking a little bit of Champagne. It helps me unwind and get into the mood to sketch.
Where is your favorite market in the world?
The Porte de Clignancourt in Paris. It has more than 3,000 shops and vendors full of artifacts from the 17th century through the '70s. It’s fantastic! I also love the JJ market in Bangkok.