Amid a sprawling organic farm teeming with animals, bamboo groves and numerous stone temples is where John Hardy calls its headquarters in Ubud, Bali. John Hardy, the company’s founder and namesake, was a young art student when he first traveled to the Indonesian island in 1975, and became captivated with its idyllic environment and handcrafting traditions of its people. He began creating jewelry inspired by Bali’s charm, eventually selling the business in 2007 with Italian-born Guy Bedarida taking over as creative director. Before moving to Bali, Bedarida designed for French jewelry lines Boucheron and Van Cleef and Arpels. He was drawn to Bali’s wonders and the premise of building a community of artisans. “It is a rare honor to have the work environment I do,” Bedarida says. “Each day I sit with the designers and illustrators who I have worked with for over 14 years and we sketch, render and design together. We don’t just plug something into a computer and let it cut something to a machine. I work with people, real artisans, and together we create magic.” Meticulous artisanship, married with beauty and meaning behind each design, is a part of the foundation that John Hardy was built on. Each piece is handcrafted by local artisans using traditional methods of weaving and hammering strips of silver and gold. The Naga collection was inspired by a Balinese myth that center’s around the island’s guardian dragon, who every night went down from Mount Batur to be with the love of his life, a giant pearl. A symbol of love, prosperity and protection, the Naga Collection features bold, colorful gemstones, including opals, sapphires, rubies and tanzanites. Also at the heart of every John Hardy design is giving back to the environment. Designs are made from reclaimed silver and gold, as well as ethically-sourced stones. The company’s “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” initiative works to offset the carbon emissions in order to help John Hardy reach its goal of becoming a carbon neutral company by planting bamboo seedlings in Bali, using a portion of proceeds from the Bamboo Collection. John Hardy has planted nearly one million plants in Bali to date.

This year’s spring collection, available at Saks Fifth Avenue, was inspired by a trip to the city of Luang Prabang in Laos. Encircled by mountains, at the confluence of the Nam Khan (Khan River) and the Mekong River, Luang Prabang’s gleaming temple roofs, crumbling French royal residences and traditional Laotian architecture were specific sources of inspiration for Bedarida. Model and actress Cara Delevingne was tapped for the spring campaign and got the chance to work alongside artisans at the design compound. After her experience immersed in Bali and the John Hardy philosophy, she highlights that “you don’t need to sacrifice luxury to be conscious of the environment.” SRQ

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JOHN HARDY