Gabriela Hearst is a « pioneering model for ecologically responsible clothing and accessories,” says Fosterandpartners.com. A relative newcomer in the $2.6 trillion dollar fashion industry where designers and brands are always searching for ways to distinguish themselves from the status quo, Gabriela has astutely chosen to marry her brand to “eco-friendliness” and “sustainability.”
This has served her especially well. Gabriela Hearst, the brand, is synonymous with sustainable luxury and Gabriela the designer is both a pioneer and trend-setter in this regard. Her 2020 women’s wear show, for example, was the first “carbon-neutral” show in fashion history. She worked with EcoAct an advisory firm to manage her show’s impact on the environment. She has won many awards because of her commitment to sustainability including the Woolmark Prize for Women’s Wear in 2016 and the Pratt Institute Fashion Visionary Award.
Her West End London flagship having been designed by the Foster and Partners in September 2019, is now available for your consumption – especially if you have deep pockets and a similar love for the environment and eco-friendly fashion. In addition to her London Flagship, Gabriela also has a beautiful store in NYC’s upper West side, on Madison Avenue, next to the Carlyle Hotel. This location was voted “the most beautiful store in New York” by Vogue Magazine in 2018.
So, who is Gabriela Hearst for those who may not know? She is a Uruguayan American sustainable luxury designer of women’s clothing and accessories. Indeed, some people call her the “women’s designer” with the Hermès touch and equestrian chic. The latter probably comes from the fact that she was raised on a ranch in Uruguay among sheep, cattle and horses– indeed she inherited her family ranch in 2011 and still manages it while living in NYC with her husband and family. The wool she uses in her designs are often sourced from her own ranch. Gabriela has said of her designs “I wanted to incorporate the values that we have on the ranch into the line that means working with the best leathers, the best yarns, the best fabric.”
Gabriela launched her eponymous brand in 2015 after working about a decade in the industry in one capacity or the other. She has reportedly said of her brand and her fashion sense “my designs don’t scream for attention but show a presence.” It seems she always goes for understatement rather than overstatement – and this does come at a premium price – but the quality of the clothing cannot be disputed.
A year after she launched her brand, in 2016, Ms Hearst debuted the now iconic Nina Bag which is named after the African American jazz singer Nina Simone. This little jewel quickly made the rounds in Hollywood and even the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, owns one (as does media personality Oprah Winfrey). However, because of her commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion, she only did a limited run of the bag which is now sold out and has an enormous waiting list.
Celebrities really seem to love her brand and there is a long list of celebrity clients that include Angelina Jolie (who was famously photographed in her Crowther Dress in Beige), Brie Larson, Gabrielle Union and Selena Gomez. Her first collection was in 2017 and it was called the Angela Davis collection, and from all accounts it was a smashing success.
In addition to her stores in New York and London, you can find her brand online at matchesfashions.com, mytheresa.com and Barneys New York among other places.
For more on Gabriela Hearst, click here.