For her first collection for John Hardy, designer Hollie Bonneville Barden, the first woman to take the house’s creative reigns, reimagined the classic Naga motif.
The Naga is a mythological figure in Southeast Asia a water dragon that protects oceans and has featured prominently in John Hardy designs.
“My exploration of Naga was, in a way, a unique journey of discovering Bali,” Bonneville Barden commented in a release.
“Through my creative process, I uncovered that, beyond the Naga myth, Balinese folklore depicts the Naga as an embodiment of different natural spirits the earth, the ocean and the sky, representing the elements of natural phenomena and its raw beauty. To me, this concept of duality is universal.”
Bonneville Barden joined John Hardy last year, relocating from London, where she previously was the creative director of De Beers, to New York and Bali.
Her first John Hardy collection features an array of interesting stones such as bicolor amethyst and obsidian. The incorporation of alternative stones just may be the young designer’s signature for De Beers she introduced natural colored diamonds into the house’s pieces.
“I selected the stones not just for their suggestion of power, drama, the fascination of light and color, but the power of creation they represent. I wanted to show nature’s strength through creation,” she said.
The first offerings from a female creative director comes just as John Hardy celebrates another milestone: the planting of its one millionth bamboo, marking the tenth anniversary of its “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” initiative, which plants bamboo seedlings for each purchase from the Bamboo collection.
Earlier this month, CEO Robert Hanson joined by Bonneville Barden, John Hardy’s Bali-based artisans and team and local and government leaders including the Head of Environment Bali and Head of Badung Regency planted the one millionth seedling on the grounds of the John Hardy workshop.
“For over 42 years, John Hardy has maintained its dedication to sustainability,” Hanson said. “From the materials used in our pieces to the construction and operation of our workshop in Bali, sustainability is woven into every aspect of our brand.
“Our ‘Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo’ program is an important part of this mission. In only 10 years, we are honored to have planted enough bamboo seedlings to cover New York City’s Central Park six times over.”
The bamboo is planted to offset carbon emissions. Seedlings are given to local families, who receive sustainable cultivation training.
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