John Hardy will unveil its new 1,200-square-foot flagship store in Soho at 118 Prince Street tonight. While the space officially opened on November 25, this special VIP invitation-only opening is expecting guests including Freida Pinto, Jasmine Tookes, Timo Weiland, Prabal Gurung, and more. Over the past two days, select media were invited to attend a master class workshop at the boutique with Polly Purser, John Hardy’s director of heritage, and John Hardy Balinese master artisans Tia, Gede, and Suka, who taught guests the brand’s jewelry-making process. Incredibly, each piece is made by hand by local artisans in Bali. Editors designed their own back grille of a John Hardy cuff bracelet, using a signature 8-step design process, and tried their hand at sketching, watch carving, and the signature chain weaving with the help of the artisans. Needless to say, it didn’t come naturally to most, but everyone walked away with a new appreciation for the craft and the brand.
December 10-23, the public will be invited to experience an Artisan in Residence exhibit on the second floor of the boutique, where artisans will be demonstrating the intricate art of John Hardy jewelry-making. Typically, the only way to get this close to the brand is by visiting the workshop at Ubud, Bali headquarters. Visitors will also be immersed in Balinese traditions by exploring the ancient artifacts, precious wood carvings, and historic tools on view in the gallery. Hand engraving will be offered onsite with any purchase of a classic or modern chain bracelet.
In keeping with founder John Hardy’s original sustainability interests (Hardy no longer owns the business, but is still a local in Bali, where his focus has been on education and sustainability through The Green School), the boutique features a large-scale art installation made from hand-carved Teakwood tree root grown on the Indonesian island of Java, a sustainable byproduct of production, which serves as the focal point of the store. Designed by architectural firm Design Republic, the store also include: custom-designed millwork, natural and locally sourced materials, mirrors outlined with the John Hardy chain motif and hammered brass accents, and carved wood with rich walnut and hammered gold inlays. In addition, the store’s lighting and sound will shift throughout the day to reflect the rising and setting of the Balinese sun, set to a custom playlist reflecting the natural sounds of Bali.
The Soho flagship offers one-of-a-kind pieces from John Hardy’s Chain, Legends, Bamboo, and Dot collections, as well as Balinese tea and coffee and candles created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based perfumer Joya. In terms of shopping and an immersive and unique brand experience, this one is a must-see.