PERHAPS THE IDEAL EMBODIMENT OF JOHN HARDY’S powerful, dramatic and  inspiring collections, Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti ushers in a personal legacy of luxury fashion taste-making and branding expertise to her new role as interim creative director. Presenting John Hardy’s latest collection at the Saks Fifth Avenue Trunk Show, Jeanbart-Lorenzotti’s modern take on timeless elegance—dare we say it—el-EVA-tes the line to bold, new heights. 

Eva, you’ve been the creative advisor at John Hardy since October 2014 and in July 2015 assumed the role of Interim Creative Director—what have you grown to identify most with the John Hardy brand?  I fell in love with John Hardy about 15 years ago. John Hardy is really a brand about hand-crafted artisan jewelry. It’s about the human hand. It’s about the art, the skill, the imperfections. I actually believe we are more beautiful in our imperfections than we are in our perfections. John Hardy is special in that way—it’s bold, iconic and for women and men of substance. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Overseeing the brand’s creative strategy and collection design, how do you strike that delicate balance of creating a collection that is current, yet will transcend trends and remain classic for years to come?I have this concept that I call “Back to the Future.” It’s going back to what is really authentic and part of the brand’s heritage, then making it relevant by bringing it to the future, which is different than being on-trend. Trends will always come and go, but great design lasts forever. If I love my John Hardy pieces more tomorrow than I do today, that would be success. That’s where I think the brand is going.

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

In three words, describe John Hardy’s latest collection’s aesthetic. Dot, Bamboo and Macan. Dot is iconic—it’s eternity, strength, endless possibility. It was one of the first designs to be done by John Hardy. The Macan from our Legends Collection is everything a tiger connotes—courage, passion and a fierce spirit.  And then [the collection is] going back to Bamboo with its elegant adaptability and simplicity. These three collections are all very iconic to the brand and you’ll see us going forward with them in a very big way.

John Hardy is celebrated for its sustainable practices, sourcing reclaimed metals and running the “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” program. What does “sustainable luxury” mean to you personally? The most beautiful thing is sustaining the people who hand-craft the pieces. When something is done by hand using natural resources, that’s what we celebrate. John Hardy is everything it says it is: the cultivation and conservation of bamboo, the compounds in Bali where everything is planted on the fields and cooked every single day. Each piece is alive with creative energy, symbolically connecting artisan and wearer.

What’s the most satisfying aspect of seeing your creative visions come to life?Seeing women wear the jewelry is by far the most rewarding. Because you can create great design, but if great design doesn’t touch people, you’re not creating that emotional bond and it’s only great in your mind. 

Do you have your eye on any particular piece for yourself?  The cobra snake coil. I did have my eye on it and I did get it for myself. It’s stunning. There are so many different pieces that are very special. The bold new bamboo necks are so modern yet so timeless. I’m more of a collector, so I gravitate to the statement pieces. 

In 2001, you launched the first editorial catalog and e-commerce site, Vivre, and were named one of Vogue’s “Ten Most Stylish Women in Fashion.” What’s your philosophy for taking everyday outfits up a notch?  Simplicity with a dash of drama. I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t really believe in following fashion. You should find classic pieces that really make you look your best and throw on an accessory that’s unexpected, that almost doesn’t match, but in a way that intrigues, captivates and makes people turn around. 

When you’re not busy creating, curating and communicating fluently in five different languages, where might people be surprised to find you? Cooking in the kitchen with my kids, chasing taco trucks around town—or possibly hang-gliding in Brazil. I’m very dare-devilish. Dare me to do almost anything and I’ll do it once! 

Interviewed at Saks Fifth Avenue for the John Hardy Fall Collection Trunk Show at the University Town Center. Opposite Page Left: Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti at Saks Fifth Avenue, University Town Center.