Gabriela Hearst In-Conversation Around Her Ethos and Practice.

When do you find your language in terms of design … What would you say in terms of your work in fashion, the item or the project you feel you found your language?

I’ve been designing since 2003 professionally. And it was the project of Gabriela Hearst where I put my name on a label, that the woman crystalized, and the vision became very very clear. I don’t know if I am a late bloomer or not, but it was in my late 30s that this really happened to me. Where I know exactly who she was, I know exactly what she is doing, what she wanted to do with her life, what was important to her. And as we evolve as a brand and started to meet these women, they are exactly who I imagine. I think it is in this project that I can say that I feel constantly the closest to the realization of the vision of the flames extending.

Artist sometimes have manifestos and there is ethos involved in the work, a mantra. I suppose the same with fashion designers. And in previous conversations you have referred to two main parts in terms of ethos and manifesto, one has to do with the long duration and the other one is the idea of sustainability. Can you tell us about these two dimensions that seem to be in everything you do?

Yes, the company was founded with these two values, long term view and sustainability. And every decision is made, every business decision and design decision is made with these two values. Whenever we have a question, we go back to these two values. I think a pivotal moment for our company was when our handbags start to have a bit of success and so it was a point where we decided we did not want to sell it to other retail stores until we have our own stores. The reason we would do it, we wouldn’t wholesale them, it would take us double amount of natural resources to make the same amount of money...which means more natural resources out of the planet. The only reason you would do this it is because you want your name very well-known, very fast and that doesn’t go with our longer-term view. That was a decision that we made to restrict our growth and really grow organically, and I think that given the different circumstances we have been navigating I am very happy we took those steps.

When we spoke yesterday Gabriela you said we belong to nature, but nature does not belong to us. And you also said it is a mirror, if it is sick, we are sick. Can you tell us about that?

Intrinsically, because I still have the way I grew up, I am very clear where things come from. I am connected to understanding that we belong to nature and nature doesn’t belong to us. It’s a complete reflect of the extinction that is happening and the sickness that is happening in our environment is also happening to us. And you can see if in many levels, you can see from our microbes that are also being extinct. Microbes that have been with us for hundreds of thousands of years or millions in some cases, some species are also being extinct. I think that mass extinction that is happening on the outside is also happening in our organisms, so we are a mirror and sometimes living in cities we forget that. It is not connected in our narrow pathways.