10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Gabriela Hearst’

If you’re interested in the glittering world of fashion, you have probably heard about Gabriela Hearst. The Uruguay-born, New York-based fashion designer is swiftly climbing up ranks among the world’s most fashionable, offering unique blends of practicality, effortless aesthetic, and sustainability that put her in a league of her own. Yet, there are a few interesting things about Hearth that may surprise even her most ardent followers. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about this trendsetter.

1. Gabriela Hearst’s roots are in ranching

While many fashion designers find their inspiration in the bustle of metropolitan cities or the idyllic peace of coastal towns, Hearst’s ideas are rooted in a somewhat unconventional background: ranching. Hearst was born and raised in Uruguay, where her family owned a ranch. This agricultural background had a significant influence on her, instilling an appreciation for nature and sustainable practices, which are now a significant part of her brand ethos.

On her family’s ranch, Gabriela was raised around natural fibers, such as wool and leather. This experience served as her first introduction into the world of textiles, and informs her material choices to this day, as she consistently opts for high-quality, sustainable fabrics in her collections.

2. She started as a model

Before becoming the celebrated designer that she is today, Gabriela actually began her journey in the fashion industry on the other side of the runway. She embarked on her career as a model in her teens and got her first taste of the global fashion stage in Paris.

Her stint as a model gave her an inside perspective on the industry, allowing her to understand its ins and outs. She got to observe first-hand the leading fashion designers of her time, learning practical insights from them, igniting her desire and determination to design and launch her own fashion line.

3. Her brand’s philosophy anchors on sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for Hearst—it is the foundation of her brand. Hearst’s heritage, values, and the way she was raised have had a significant impact on the way she runs her brand. She strongly believes in sustaining our planet for future generations and aims to contribute to that through her fashion line.

Hearst’s commitment to sustainability is not just rhetoric. She endeavors to minimize the footprint of her fashion collections by using ethically sourced materials and incorporating sustainable manufacturing practices. In 2019, she made a commitment to make her company completely plastic-free by 2022.

4. She didn’t attend a traditional fashion school

Despite her celebrated position as a leader in the fashion industry, Hearst did not go through a conventional fashion education. Instead, she studied communications at ORT university in Montevideo, Uruguay. She later moved to New York with dreams of establishing herself in the world of fashion.

Although she lacked formal training in fashion design, her enthusiasm, talent, and the experience she gained as a model compensated for this. Her designs today display a distinctive simplicity and sophistication, belying her unconventional entry into the world of fashion design.

5. She has been endorsed by Meghan Markle

It’s one thing to possess a distinct style and another entirely to have your work recognized and worn by renowned style icons. Hearst’s designs have attracted the attention of Megan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, arguably one of the most influential figures in contemporary fashion. Market has been photographed wearing pieces from Gabriela Hearst’s collections on several occasions.

This kind of endorsement from notable personalities does not only attest to Gabriela Hearst’s creativity but also contributes considerably to her brand’s visibility on the international fashion scene.

6. She is a recipient of several prestigious fashion awards

Gabriela Hearst’s efforts in the fashion industry haven’t gone unnoticed. Her innovative designs and commitment to sustainability have earned her several accolades from prestigious industry bodies. In 2016, she received the Vogue Fashion Fund.

In 2020, Hearst also won the coveted Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), making her one of the few who have won this award without formal training in fashion design.

7. She credits her Italian husband for her brand’s name

Would you believe that it was Hearst’s husband who suggested the now-iconic name of her brand? Yes, her husband Austin Hearst, heir to the Hearst media empire and Gabriela’s biggest cheerleader, encouraged her to use her name for the brand. His rationale was that it would be a reflection of her personal style and ethos, and rightly so, as the clothing line captures Gabriela’s values, aesthetic and background perfectly.

8. She only uses deadstock materials in her collections

In her continuous quest to sustain the planet, Hearst only uses deadstock materials for her collections. This means she only uses leftover materials that would otherwise be discarded to create her fashionable pieces. This approach doesn’t just point to her commitment to sustainability, it also means that her pieces are highly unique as they are made from materials that are no longer being produced.

9. A trip to her home country inspired her first collection

Hearst’s inaugural fashion collection was inspired by a trip back to her home country of Uruguay. The simple, practical, and elegant lifestyle there motivated her to create her first collection, which hearkens back to her own upbringing with a modern, sustainable twist.

10. She is the creative director of Chloé

In December 2020, Gabriela Hearst added another feather to her cap when she was appointed as the creative director of Chloé, a prominent French fashion house. In taking up this role, she became the first woman to hold the post at Chloé in over a decade.

If you want to learn more about Gabriela Hearst or explore her collections, here are a few useful links:

Useful Links

Gabriela Hearst Official Website
Gabriela Hearst on Instagram
Gabriela Hearst Collections on Vogue.