Gabriela Hearst – The Designer Behind Our Favourite ‘It’ Bag – Named Chloé’s New Creative Director

Luxury accessory label Chloé has unveiled its new creative director. 

New-York-based designer Gabriela Hearst has been named creative director of Chloé. The designer, known for her elegant ready-to-wear collections, chic tailoring and leather accessories, follows the footsteps of Natacha Ramsay-Levi, who announced her departure last week.

Luxury goods company Richemont, which owns Chloé, along with Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Alaïa, is no doubt seeking to grow the beloved Parisian brand with the news of Hearst’s appointment.

Born in Uruguay, Hearst successfully ran her contemporary label Candela before started her Gabriela Hearst label in 2015. Since then, she’s continued to redefine the luxury fashion space, often using recycled materials and only selling her handbags direct to consumers.

Gabriela Hearst’s ‘Nina’ bag

She joins an impressive list of top designers that have worked with Chloé, including Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo and Waight Keller. Other than Karl Lagerfield, all of its designers have been women.

Hearst, who has made a name for herself in the luxury market for her commitment to sustainability, is expected to bring the same eco-conscious practices to her role at Chloé.

3 things to know about Gabriela Hearst

  • She’s a champion of sustainability. The designer has been hailed for her ‘slow luxury’ approach, with collections made from repurposed deadstock and reclaimed fabrics.
  • Her designs are beloved by celebrities and royals. Hearst’s elegant designs have long been favoured amongst celebrities like Demi Moore, Duchess Meghan, Zoë Kravitz and Jill Biden.
  • She’s the woman behind our favourite ‘it’ bag. With its distinct folded leather pouch design, Hearst has gained a cult-following for her ‘Nina’ bag, named after activist and artist Nina Simone.

Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack Collab on Covetable Capsule Collection

Two of New Zealand’s most beloved international designers, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack, have collaborated on a highly covetable capsule collection of decadent jewels inspired by the South Pacific and we’re here for it!

So much so the duo hit the studio together in London for our exclusive cover shoot and an hilarious Kiwi-girl catch-up via Zoom with STYLE’s managing editor Phoebe Watt.

Launched to align with London Fashion Week SS21 and available in New Zealand at Simon James for a limited time, the sensational, sparkling collection gives a nod to the designers’ shared New Zealand heritage.

Beautifully incorporating McCormack’s signature hallmarks — Georgian cut-down settings, layered white and blackened gold and diamond gypset hoops — the array of earrings, rings and necklaces are designed to sit seamlessly with Wickstead’s Spring Summer collection.

“We’d been talking about doing this for so long, too,” says Wickstead, explaining that while they’d worked together since their brands were in their infancies – McCormack supplying jewels for Wickstead’s runway shows and the pair regularly sending their celebrity and bridal clients to one another – it was her spring 2021 collection, inspired by the South Seas, that was the final catalyst for the jewellery collaboration they launched in October.

“It was that collection that got us thinking about pearls,” says McCormack, who confesses she’d avoided them in all her years as a jeweller because of what she saw as their inherent stuffiness.

“Whereas for me,” says Wickstead, whose late father was Samoan, “there’s definitely something very nostalgic about them; their connection to the South Pacific, and the sense of whimsy and adventure they evoke. On top of that, I hate the word glamorous but there is something so incredibly glamorous about them.”

The challenge, both Wickstead and McCormack agree, was in modernising the pearl. “And I think Jessica’s way of taking something precious and luxurious like a diamond and turning it into this edgy, super versatile piece that you can wear every day with just a white T-shirt or a cardigan, that was absolutely key.”

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