Officially, Paul Hardy began his design career in 2002 with an opening show at Toronto Fashion Week where his first collection saw a host of rave reviews declaring, “a star is born”. After seeing that first collection, fashion industry icon Jeanne Beker, host of Fashion Television, compared Hardy’s talent as being that of the likes of Marc Jacobs or Stella McCartney.
The sensation caused by his first collection led Hardy to pursue opportunities south of the border at Los Angeles Fashion Week. There he garnered the attention of notable industry media types like WWD who described Hardy’s style as “a thoughtful, well-made collection of soft sophisticated clothes”. Such reviews about the line sent a buzz across the United States to New York, where Hardy unveiled his third season for Spring/Summer 2004. Feted with a party hosted by Canadian Consulate General Pamela Wallin, Hardy’s Manhattan debut drew attention from Fern Mallis, President of the CFDA. As a result, 7th on Sixth invited him to show in the tents at Bryant Park the following season. Hardy’s Fall 2004 show was attended in large numbers and hailed as being his ‘best work yet’. Some of his designs were described as “Oscar worthy” by celebrity stylist Philip Bloch and the New York Post. Flare magazine has described him as one of the freshest new talents emerging from North of the border.
In 2005 Hardy continued establishing credibility to Calgary talent and proving to the rest of Canada and the world what he could do. Having already established a high-end women’s collection and jewelry & accessories line, Hardy began working with fur after NAFA (North American Fur Association) had invited him to study at the SAGA fur institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. The result of this visit was a magical Narnia-inspired collection. One piece, garnered the interest of the Robb Report luxury magazine, by selecting Hardy’s fur poncho as one of the 70 ultimate Christmas gift items for their annual list. Hardy furthered his interest in luxury goods, after being approach by the Northwest Territories Government Canadian certified diamond producers, to design a limited collection of fine jewelry.