Vogue: An A-List Guestlist Turned Out to Gabriela Hearst’s Store Opening Cocktail Party in Beverly Hills
By Rachel Marlowe
Guests, including Laura Dern, Dree Hemingway, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Maria Sharapova, Tallulah Willis, and St. Vincent, turned out on Thursday night to celebrate the opening of Gabriela Hearst’s new flagship store in Beverly Hills. The Uruguayan-born, New York-based men's and womenswear designer stepped down from her role as creative director at Chloe earlier this year to focus on her own eponymous label but has hardly been resting on her laurels. As with all of Hearst’s flagship stores, the latest opening is located next to an iconic five-star hotel—her New York boutique sits next to The Carlyle, the London boutique next to Claridges, and this one can be found at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. “We are here because I think that speaks to the level of luxury, service, and craft that differentiates us,” said Hearst.
As the party sipped on shots of mezcal and champagne, Hearst, who was wearing a floor-length ivory asymmetric gown revealing a leather brassiere, held the floor, greeting friends and showing them around the space. “I love so many things about this store,” she told Vogue. “We were supposed to open in March, but we took the time to do it the right way because we wanted it to feel timeless. It was also a collaborative effort where everyone was heard and their talents were respected. Everything about the store speaks to quality without being ostentatious. There’s a humbleness to it.”
The 2,500-square-foot space was designed by British architect and designer Norman Foster, while the custom furniture and fitting were created by Gavron Dumas Studio in collaboration with artisans at DUSK, a furniture studio based in Los Angeles known for working with extraordinary timber. The flagship will sell the entire range of Gabriela Hearst men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, fine merino wool and cashmere knitwear, footwear, accessories, and handbags. The location also will be the exclusive retailer for Gabriela Hearst's handbag collection on the West Coast. "I have long been an admirer of Gabriela’s work and her commitment to designing with care for the environment,” said Foster. “The new L.A. store reflects the label’s sustainable approach, with hand-crafted elements, a refined palette of high-quality materials, and bespoke furniture that is made from fallen Los Angeles Sycamore.”
With an emphasis on natural materials and quality undertaken with a utilitarian perspective, the store takes inspiration both from Hearst’s family ranch in Uruguay and the city of Los Angeles’s architectural vernacular architecture. Moving away from the current standard pre-fabrication technologies and echoing its own ethos of craftsmanship, the brand chose to build the vaulted ceiling that envelops the space with traditional materials and manual techniques, including time-consuming hand-application of finishings in Roman Clay, an eco-friendly plaster. Wall-hung shelving, seating, and freestanding furniture in a freckled grain timber meanwhile act as a foil to the minimal white walls, rose gold aluminum door handles represent a modern take on Gabriela’s family ranch’s logo, and the bespoke rugs and wall hangings, are based on drawings of the Brooklyn-based artist, Eli Tamarkin.
Known for her love of dance parties, Hearst had also taken over the hotel’s BLVD lounge for the night, and Beastie Boy Mike D was on hand for a special DJ set that got the crowd on their feet. And, while L.A. is a famously early-to-bed, early-to-rise town, the celebrations continued late into the night. “I really feel so embraced and happy to be here,” said Hearst as she surveyed the scene. “People don’t always jump to come to a store opening, but they showed up and are having a good time.”