The jewelry designer on quality, consciousness and the bracelet every woman should own
Guy Bedarida is equal parts philosopher and rock star-an Italian jewelry designer who leads the Bali-based John Hardy line. The incredibly stylish globetrotter worked for Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels, designing custom jewelry for the stars before joining John Hardy, where he is creative director and head designer.
Bedarida, who speaks ardently about life in Bali, emphasizes the brand's passion for the environment. (It's evidenced in part by the line's Bamboo collection; for every piece purchased, John Hardy plants bamboo seedlings.) Bedarida recently visited Saks Fifth Avenue at Polaris Fashion Place, and we sat with him to talk about quality, consciousness and the bracelet every woman should own.
On what makes John Hardy unique
It's a combination of a few elements. The design: That's what I bring to the brand. It's a design I developed over the years. I really worked with the heritage of the company, which is also related to the geographic position, to the environment. Also, everything is made by hand, which is something you don't find much anymore in the world of jewelry. And of course the quality of the jewelry: We've had a German engineer working with us in Bali for many years, and he's really the person that guarantees our quality. What's very interesting about my jewelry in general is the back. I always try to give special attention to the interior of the jewelry so that they are beautiful outside and inside, like a woman.
On the design studio in Bali
It's a very unique place, because we're in the middle of nature. There are rice fields all around, and rainforests. We're very blessed in that way because we live in nature. It's a beautiful compound, where you have buildings made out of bamboo, and inside you're going to find the best technology. But really the idea is to protect the environment around us with very sustainable constructions. And it's very inspiring.
On what inspires him
The people of Bali through their smile. That happiness and that smile is really something that gives enthusiasm in life. The nature of Bali inspires me very much. The Kali collection is inspired by the pebbles of Bali that we have everywhere in our compound. Another important source of inspiration is ancient cultures and all of the palaces and museums I go to when I travel.
On his favorite collections
I want our collections to attract different kinds of customers. For instance, the Naga collection-it's inspired by the dragon of Bali, and it's a symbol of prosperity, eternal love and protection. It's everything that someone wants to have. There's also the Bamboo collection, which is very interesting, not only because of the look of the bamboo, but also because it represents our contribution the environment. We also have a more modern collection called Bedeg, inspired by wrought iron work and nature. We have the Cinta collection. It's the precious collection, all one-of-a-kind. It's very special because I design it only when I find the gems.
On the John Hardy piece that every woman should wear
Definitely one of our woven bracelets-they're so comfortable to wear. Every woman should have one. Also one of the Bamboo bracelets, because I think it's great that something will be contributed to the environment.