Gabriela Hearst is the new Creative Director of Chloé, a major move for the New York-based CFDA member known for her namesake luxury brand of ultra-luxurious clothes and a pioneering business ethos centered on sustainability.
According to Gabriela Hearst, quoted by cfda/ The Council of Fashion Designers of America, her aim was to create a brand that “reflects a slower pace and process” and takes “into consideration where materials come from and who is making them: luxury with a conscience or in other words, honest luxury.”
She is expected to bring this ethos to Paris, which could transform Chloé luxury brand into a leading sustainable fashion brand. Gabriela Hearst’s appointment is significant in more ways than one, explained The Council of Fashion Designers of America.
In recent years, much has been said about the state of American fashion in comparison to a heyday in the mid- 1990. At the time, European houses looked to American talent: Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors at Celine, Narciso Rodriguez at Cerruti and Loewe. Chanel made a financial investment in Isaac Mizrahi, and Tom Ford famously transformed Gucci into a luxury powerhouse. And the common consensus among some media was that these days were long counted.
Not so fast. Today, several American or U.S.-based designers are once again at helm of European houses. In addition to Hearst at Chloé, CFDA members Virgil Abloh and Paul Andrew design for Louis Vuitton men’s and Ferragamo, respectively. Kering is invested in Altuzarra. Matthew Williams, who is originally from Illinois, is the Creative Director at Givenchy and Texan Daniel Roseberry is Artistic Director at Maison Schiaparelli. In these roles, Williams and Roseberry both design couture as well.
Last week, Chloé fashion house announced Gabriela Hearst as the brand’s new Creative Director following the exit of Natacha Ramsay-Levi.
Gabriela honored her family’s heritage through the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015. In 2018, Gabriela was appointed to the board of trustees of Save the Children. The Gabriela Hearst Flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York opened in November 2018, the London store on Brook street opened August 2019. Gabriela Hearst is the 2020 winner of the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year.
“I am grateful for an opportunity at such a beloved brand as Chloé,” Gabriela Hearst said in a statement. “I am thankful to Natacha Ramsay-Levi and all the other extraordinary designers that have come before her and helped build on the purposeful vision of Gaby Aghion. I am excited for the opportunity to work under the leadership of Riccardo Bellini and support him in his commitment to create a business that is socially conscious and in balance with our environment.”
“Hearst will continue to design the Gabriela Hearst line and plans to split her time between New York and Paris, the pandemic notwithstanding. Her first collection for Chloé will be presented next March,” announced Vogue.
Gabriela Hearst Retrofit Capsule
Gabriela Hearst’s recent retrofit capsule collection for Selfridges has been created with the brand principles of timelessness and sustainability in mind. Existing garments made with impeccable construction and uncompromising noble materials, have been modified with artisanal details to create new and beautifully adapted pieces.
The brands signature blanket stitching has been added by hand to cashmere wraps and skirts. Linen silk dresses are dip dyed by hand in navy, knitted turtleneck gowns are tailored into tunics, and a reversible puffer jacket is updated to include the Hearst crest.
Included in the capsule is a limited edition ‘retro fit’ handbag named ‘Ana’ created from existing bags. Only 7 were available in navy, bordeaux and combinations of black/ ivory, navy/ ivory, navy/ bordeaux, and bordeaux/ cognac/ and navy. The nappa leather bucket bag features an adjustable cross body strap, drawstring bag, and leather handle.
Gabriela Hearst worked with De la Espada furniture to create a sustainable installation space in the 2nd floor atrium which showcased the capsule collection and handbag. De La Espada furniture can also be found in the Madison Avenue flagship store and at the brand’s Mayfair boutique in London.
The De La Espada furniture featured was previously used for exhibitions and photoshoots, eliminating the need to craft new pieces for the display. All of the products are crafted from premium sustainable hardwood bonded with traditional joinery and wood glue, and hand finished with natural oil and wax.
Upholstered products are luxurious fabrics carefully chosen for their tactility and enduring performance. Built to last a lifetime, each product reflects rigorous engineering, the vision of a leading designer, the hand of a master crafts person and the enduring beauty of robust natural materials.
The selection includes designs by British industrial designer Matthew Hilton, Shanghai-based architecture and design studio Neri&Hu, and Istanbul-based studio Autoban.