Critically acclaimed designer, Gabriela Hearst visits On Pedder to unveil her Fall Winter 2019 collection. For a very limited-time only, fans of the brand can get their hands on the highly coveted handbags – sans waiting list – and experience the bespoke monogramming service, available only at the event.
On Pedder Scotts Square, Singapore
Installation | October 25 to November 25
Designer Appearance | November 1 | 6pm to 8pm
By: Rohaizatul Azhar
Her eponymous label may not be a household name, but in the four years since its launch in 2015, Gabriela Hearst handbags have gained cult-status popularity. Highly regarded for its craftsmanship and innovative designs, the dumpling-shaped ‘Nina’ bag, became an instant ‘It’ bag and was seen on the arms of every fashion insider worth her street style credibility. Hearst’s handbags, are renowned not just for the timeless, elegant designs, and the focus on sustainability, but also their extensive waiting lists.
But fret not. Fans of the iconic handbags can get their hands on one, at the Southeast Asia-exclusive installation at On Pedder Scotts Square – the first retail store in the region to carry the coveted handbags, outside of it’s own website. The installation includes beloved classics ‘Nina’ and ‘Demi’, as well as newer styles ‘Diana’, ‘Patsy’ and ‘Walkwoman’. Ahead of the much-anticipated launch, here are some facts to know about the designer.
1. She grew up on a ranch in Uruguay, which she now owns.
While she may call New York her home now, Gabriela Hearst was born and raised on her family’s ranch on the flat grasslands of Uruguay’s Paysandu region, where the nearest supermarket was two hours away. The family lived sustainably out of utilitarianism and grew their own vegetables, and hand-making their own soaps. “Once or twice a month you’d go and do a big shop,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar in an interview. “It would get dark at 6.30 in the winter, then you’d have one hour with the generator, then it’d be pitch-black. We got solar panels when they came out”. Her father passed away in 2011, and the ranch, named Santa Isabel, was bequeathed to her – all 17,000 acres of it, along with 5,000 heads of cattle, 9,000 sheep and 110 horses.
2. Sustainability forms the crux of her label and designs
According to a report from the Financial Times, 99% of her textiles are sustainable, and her commitment to zero waste, upcycling and eco-conscious processes is well-documented. Hearst ensures that her label only uses certified natural fibers and viscose, and makes use of leftover materials, like cashmere and silk, from previous collections for her accessories. She says, “I like the idea that we’re doing our part by not creating something completely new.” To ensure that even the company’s practices are as sustainable as possible, Hearst works with Tipa, an innovative biodegradable packaging company that offers compostable packaging solutions, for it’s shipments.
3. Even her retail stores are sustainable
Earlier this year, Hearst opened her latest retail store in London – her first standalone store outside of the United States. The store echoes the label’s green approach to design by using local and recycled materials, such as reclaimed oakwood floor sourced from military barracks in the UK, and the fabric wall paneling is made from linen, which is low in embodied energy. The majority of the furniture is made from London plane timber sourced from a tree that fell during a storm in Lincoln.
4. First-ever carbon-neutral fashion show at NYFW
With sustainability being at the core of her brand, the designer teamed up with production company Bureau Betak to stage the first-ever carbon-neutral fashion show at the recent New York Fashion Week. This means minimising transportation, packaging and energy used from casting locally based models, to reduce carbon emissions, to choosing food used for backstage catering.
5. She is not only an activist, but a humanitarian as well
Hearst is a philanthropist, and has worked with countless non-profit organisations, raising awareness for environmental causes through special collaborations with retailers and fashion labels, as well as raised funds through the sale of her pieces. She is currently a member of the ‘Save the Children‘ Board of Trustees, dedicated to giving children around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm.
6. Her bag designs are so covetable, even prototypes get attention
While testing out the prototype for her first bag, ‘Nina’, Hearst was approached by a stranger in an elevator in London, who asked her about the designer of the bag she was carrying. “I was like, ‘I do. It’s a prototype’. I told him I may do twenty or twenty-five to give to women I know”. The man requested for one, as a gift for his wife, when she has decided to produce them. He gave Hearst his card, and the name reads: Jony Ive, then the Chief Design Officer at Apple.
7. You have to get on a waiting list to get her bags
That is… until the On Pedder Scott Square installation launches later this month that is!
When she first made the Nina bag, Hearst only created 20 pieces, gifting them to friends and women she has worked with. Soon after, her bags rose to the top of every fashion insider’s must-have list, and were spotted in the hands of Miroslava Duma, Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga and Meghan Markle. It gained cult status and racked up a huge waiting list in just a few short months.
Discover the highly-coveted, consciously-made luxury handbag collection available exclusively at On Pedder Scotts Square.