Gabriela Hearst: The Vision of the Moment
by Elena Sendona
It seems that amidst all this change, pandemic-related uncertainty, and often despair, Gabriela Hearst is a leading figure among the designers who got it right. She has been recently appointed as Creative Director of the prestigious fashion house Chloé that was founded in 1952 by the legendary Gaby Aghion – once the mentor of Karl Lagerfeld – and designs for a discerning clientele who yearns for understated glamour, artisanal luxury, sustainable fashion, and a nonchalant boho-chic spirit with a modern polish over. Born and raised in Uruguay at her family’s ranch, she has a knack for everything effortless chic, her creations standing between nature and our urban necessities. Her fashions feel humane and thoughtful, putting the wearers – men and women – at the epicenter, their uncontrived versions. She focuses on what people want for themselves without adding any hint of superficiality into the equation. Yet these clothes and accessories manage somehow to be season-after-season among the most aspirational in the market.
Living in New York since her early 20s, it took her a comparably short, decade-long ride in the world of fashion design to figure out the essential part of this industry and come up with a vision that is totally ahead of her own times.
Her handbags are “it” items and investment pieces, and her dresses feel like heirlooms. Everything in her collection is high-quality, the real definition of high-end. Fabrics with anti-radiation, moisturizing, and other beneficial properties further show the thoughtful side of luxury. She uses wool coming from her sheep farm and often leftover yarns and fabrics from the previous collections to minimize waste in the production circle. Composable bio-plastics are used in her packaging, and a carbon-neutral SS20 collection was presented last season under the guidance of Bureau Betak and EcoAct. Plus, her products are now accompanied by a QR Code with its origin, material, production process, and carbon footprint. Repurposing and recycling is the core element in her latest collection as well. According to British Vogue, she has set “a goal to use 80% deadstock in 2023 and no use of virgin materials by 2022.”
With that in mind, we are so thrilled to follow the next chapter of her brand story, as well as that of Chloé. Every single high-profile fashion institution, including the CFDA, BoF, and LVMH Luxury Ventures, has been with her along the way, as she went through important moves that give us hope. The industry is her oyster, and she is a great example that will definitely shift attitudes among designers even more. We already have seen many designers on a similar path, so I’m really getting excited for all of them. Creativity and kindness will definitely prevail!