Gabriela Hearst is probably the only fashion designer to compare her craft to ranching. It may have something to do with her rugged and remote upbringing on a farm in northern Uruguay, which shaped her sustainable approach to design.
“When I was growing up, there was not a lot of access to fashion, and things had to last a long time,” says Hearst, whose clothes eschew flash-in-the-pan trends for an emphasis on longevity. Quality textiles are key, and the fall collection comprises velvets, cashmeres and wools from some of the top mills in Europe. (Some of the wool also comes from the sheep on her family’s ranch.) Other material is recycled.
“I went to the mills and asked for leftover fabric,” she says. “We found a beautiful pink cashmere for a coat, but there was only enough for 10 coats, so we made 10.” The “reduce reuse recycle” motto continued at Hearst’s fall/winter 2017 runway show: Attendees sat in chairs brought from the designer’s home.
“There’s beauty in making luxury that’s not wasteful,” she says. Less is more, indeed.
(Gabriela Hearst is available at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, thebay.com)
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