Gabriela Hearst makes being obscenely busy look easy. The newly-installed creative director at Chloè has been quietly transforming the French fashion maison into a sustainable north star for luxury houses, while also designing for her namesake label, which presented its spring summer ‘22 collection in a pared-back presentation in New York this afternoon. Heart’s design MO is simple: impeccably crafted pieces made in collaboration with artisans from around the world.
For S/S ‘22 she tapped South American design collectives Manos del Uruguay and Madres & Artesanas Tex (from Uruguay, her home country, and Bolivia respectively) for crochet and outerwear designs, as well as Naiomi Glasses and TahNibaa Naataanii, members of the Navajo Nation, who helped the craft woven swatches that appeared on dresses and trench coats. “Being able to craft beautiful pieces that are desirable, and at the same time that empower others is probably one of the most satisfying personal experiences,” she said in the collection’s press notes.
The clothes themselves were classic Hearst: floor-skimming oversized knitwear, ribbed knit dresses with delicate overlays, elegant pleated skirts in ivory silk, smart suede trenches. An abstract motif print popped up throughout the collection, Hearst later revealing it was inspired by a painting she created with her three children. This is, in essence, what has made Gabriela Hearst such a powerhouse in modern fashion: although she’s a global name with a global following that spans A-list royalty (Marion Cotillard, Laura Dern) to actual royalty (Meghan Markle is a fan), her clothing still feels intimate and personal, like it was made just for you. It’s a rare skill.
Plus, there’s her sustainability chops. Since launching in 2015, Hearst has been a stalwart of conscious luxury, long before it became an industry buzzword. In 2018, she presented the industry’s first-ever carbon neutral runway show. Her collections are made with upcycled deadstock, her brand packaging is biodegradable and compostable, her supply chain even operates by boat instead of air freight to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. It’s a resolute commitment that runs counter to the greenwashing that has taken over the fashion industry of late, and one she is bringing to her tenure at Chloé. In a 2021 interview with British Vogue she spoke frankly about why: “We don’t live in an endless cornucopia of natural materials,” she said. “In order to preserve, we have to take less.” In Hearst’s hands, doing less never looked so good.