Uruguayan Designer Gabriela Hearst Honored with Artistry of Fashion Award
On Wednesday (September 6) The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT (MFIT) honored Gabriela Hearst with the 2023 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion at its annual fundraising luncheon in New York City. The Uruguayan designer is the creative director of her eponymous label Gabriela Hearst and former creative director of French luxury fashion house Chloé.
“Just when I thought I couldn’t feel any more special or get more emotional, I get this honor from one of the most renowned fashion institutions in the world [FIT],” said Hearst at the event reception.
Born in Uruguay and raised on her family’s 17,000-acre ranch in Santa Isabel in Paysandu, Hearst was surrounded by farm life that helped frame how she thought of luxury, especially when it came to hand-crafted material. According to her bio, she wanted to “create a brand that reflects a slower pace and process: where things are made with care and detail, where tradition is more important than trend, where there is a purpose to every piece.”
“A lot of the creativity I have today is from using my imagination [back then]. Imagination is all problem solving, right? On a ranch you have to use it a lot; you can’t just bring in an expert if something doesn’t work. That time taught me that essentially quality comes from a utilitarian perspective… and even in a humble environment there is high quality because everything is made to last a lifetime,” says Hearst in an interview with The Guardian.
Hearst’s label, which was launched in 2015, is famed for its luxe-craft aesthetic that bridges the designer’s love for Uruguay and New York with a sustainable ethos of “honest luxury.” For Hearst, this means taking into account the material’s origin: where it comes from and who is making it.
Her designs have been coveted by Zoë Kravitz, Aimee Carrero, Meghan Markle, and First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, who donned an embroidered Hearst coat at the 2020 inauguration.
In 2020, Hearst was named the creative director of Chloé and presented her final collection at NYFW after announcing her departure after three years with the Maison.
The event where Hearst received the award was presented by NORDSTROM and raised funds for The Museum at FIT, New York’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the art of fashion. The funds raised will go toward developing exhibitions, programming, and symposia, all of which are free and open to the public.