Harper's Bazaar: Gabriela Hearst’s New L.A. Store Feels Like Home

Author: Brooke Bobb

The designer once again worked with architect Norman Foster on a space meant to give shoppers a feeling of ease and authenticity 

Today, designer Gabriela Hearst is opening her new Los Angeles store inside the iconic Beverly Wilshire hotel. While she already has retail spaces in New York and London that house her beautifully crafted, minimalist-minded ready-to-wear and accessories, this new outpost feels particularly important in terms of how much Hearst’s eponymous label has grown over the last few years—and how much it will continue to expand after her departure from Chloé as creative director in September.

Designed in collaboration with architect Norman Foster, the L.A. shop is a natural extension of the designer’s sustainability-focused brand ethos and her creative codes grounded in ideas of effortlessness, authenticity, quality, and organic materials. Here, Hearst worked again with two makers who have become her regular collaborators: Benji Gavron and Antoine Dumas. Together, they created the interior buildouts and furniture using reclaimed wood. Much of the design of the space was inspired by L.A. architect Paul R. Williams, who designed the Beverly Wilshire as well as the homes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Barbara Stanwyck. Another inspiration? Hearst’s familial roots. As Foster explained over email, “our ambition was to bring the essence of Gabriela’s family ranch in Uruguay to Los Angeles.” He added: “[w]e have worked closely with local artisans and selected honest and tactile materials to create a space that is inviting and warm. Stepping into the store, the intention is to make you feel at home.”

The idea of creating an inviting ambiance was top of mind for Hearst, as well. As she explained on a call a couple of weeks before the opening, “I wanted the store to be luxurious, but not intimidating. I wanted it to feel like a place that is inspiring but most importantly, calm and beautiful.” Hearst also pointed out that within the store, there are no right angles. Everything is a smooth surface or an arched or curved shape, giving the space a “warmth,” as Dumas put it on the call. He added, “All of us are driven by the same force, which is to make places where humans feel comfortable and places where humans feel like they want to spend time and not feel forced to be subjugated to large shelfs and bright lights [in the store], where you’re being shown products in an aggressive way.” Ultimately, he said, “there’s a call to softness, which is very crucial here.” Below, take a look inside the stunning new Gabriela Hearst store in L.A.