John Hardy Creative Director Guy Bedarida in Saint Louis

 In Style
Sustainable jewelry line John Hardy sent Creative Director and Head Designer Guy Bedarida to Saint Louis this week for an impressive trunk show at Saks Fifth Avenue. The luxury label is best known for its Balinese jewelry making techniques and a devotion to staying green and giving back to the environment. We were lucky enough to spend a little time with Guy and gain some insight on the new collection and his ongoing devotion to keeping the company socially responsible.
ALIVE: What is an average day for Guy Bedarida?
GUY BEDARIDA: I wouldn’t say any day is “average” as I am always doing something different. Though I spend most of my time in Bali, there are the days when I am traveling so I try to immerse myself in the culture of the country I am visiting and draw inspiration from my surroundings. When I am working with artisans on the latest designs at the compound, it’s a very delicate and intricate process to see the sketches come to life or to see the stone that I have discovered turn into a fine piece of jewelry.
ALIVE: What attracted you to jewelry design?
GB: I was kind of born into Jewelry design. I remember when my parents would entertain in our home and everyone that attended would be wearing the most beautiful jewels with very enchanting colors – it was such a site! There’s something so timeless and precious about jewelry that I’ve always found very alluring. When I started studying design, I knew right from the beginning that this was exactly what I wanted to be doing.
ALIVE: A lot of your inspirations come from nature, is there anything in particular that sparked the current collection?
BD: My Spring 2013 collection wasn’t exactly nature-inspired as other collections have been in the past. This season I was more inspired by the culture of Bali and I wanted to go back to the core of John Hardy and pay homage to the art of Balinese chain weaving. The collection – “Braided Chain Collection” – was delicately crafted by our artisans using the traditional technique known as Rantai in which each link is meticulously heated and weaved into a braid.
ALIVE: John Hardy is known for being a sustainable jewelry line as well as being a very socially responsible company, do you feel this has contributed to much of the success of the company?
GB: I wholehearted believe that much of our success can be attributed to us being a socially responsible company. I think people like knowing that when they buy a piece of John Hardy jewelry, they are giving back to the environment. Our “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” program allows it kept alive through the participation of our customers. By purchasing an item from our bamboo collection, we plant a certain number of bamboos to offset our carbon emission (printed advertising materials, air travel, etc)
ALIVE: What is your favorite piece you have designed and what does it mean to you?
GB: With each collection, one always tends to stick out as my favorite. For Spring/Summer 2013 that piece is definitely the braided chain with all the fabulous colored gemstone clasps. Along with being amazed by the longevity of the tradition of chain weaving, each piece encompasses a strong, yet feminine beauty component.
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