Gabriela Hearst: a philosophy of ethical, understandable clothing | World Fashion Channel

Gabriela Hearst: a philosophy of ethical, understandable clothing

Brand history
Read min

05 Apr 2021

"There is no clear path to sustainability, but you start little by little, find your challenges, and learn."

Gabriela Hearst


Gabriela Hearst is the brand that first comes to mind when mentioning sustainable development and new American fashion. It was Gabriela who first hosted a completely carbon-neutral show on a fashion dress in New York. To do this, she had to bring chairs from home and the brand's studio, and also completely abandon plastic. Only those models who did not need to fly to New York participated in the show, and the chefs who work with seasonal products were engaged in catering. Success was not long in coming: in just a few years of the brand's existence, the designer managed to get into the list of the 500 most influential people in the industry according to Business of Fashion, as well as in WWD and LVMH. In 2020, the CFDA named Hearst Designer of the Year.

Her love for nature and her commitment to caring for the environment has been shaped since childhood. Gabriela Hearst was born and raised in Uruguay surrounded by horses, sheep, and other animals. The ranch childhood also influenced the DNA of the Gabriela Hearst brand. According to the designer, it is this fact of her biography that explains the presence of natural peasant motives in almost every collection.

After graduating from Universidad ORT Uruguay with a B.A. in communications and a short period in Paris, Gabriela moved to New York to study performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater. Having settled in the American capital, in 2004, Hearst opened her first brand Candela in Brooklyn with $ 700. And although Candela, distinguished by democracy, existed for more than 10 years and was quite successful, Gabriela decided to change course to the luxury segment.

So, in 2015, the designer launched her namesake brand Gabriela Hearst. The DNA elements of the new brand are comfort, minimalism, conscious consumption, and care for the environment. Durability has become another important brand principle. Hearst believes that a good and high-quality garment requires investment and that clothes should be timeless. Interestingly, the brand produces bags in limited quantities - you can get your model only by prior order.

Gabriela Hearst garments are created in Uruguay using natural fabrics and recycled materials. Since 2018, the brand has been using only Tipa compostable bags and recycled cardboard hangers. By 2019, Hearst had generally abandoned using plastic, from creating collections to distributing and selling them.

Gabriela designs collections for strong, influential women who are seeking global changes. Her clothes are chosen by the first lady of the United States Jill Biden, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, ex-Duchess Meghan Markle, TV presenter Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities.

Such a rapid success could not go unnoticed in the fashion industry. In December 2020, French fashion house Chloé invited Hearst to take on the role of creative director. Accepting this proposal, the designer nevertheless did not leave her own brand. Hearst's debut fall-winter 2021/2022 collection for Chloé, presented as part of Paris Fashion Week, received positive reviews from critics. The designer managed to preserve the aesthetics and iconic elements of the fashion house history without relegating the principles of sustainability.


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