GABRIELA HEARST men’s melange wool suit.
Makeup by Kristi Matamoros. Hair by Sabrina Szinay.
GABRIELA HEARST men’s coat and wool pants;
Gabriela’s own Tod’s sneakers.
CZ: I just saw the pictures from the shoot.
GH: Yeah, I don’t hold back.
Not at all, which we love. So why are you launching men’s. And why now?
Definitely a good question. I think we are entering an era where the line between how men and women dress is being blurred. Women dress more like a guy today than, you know, a woman did in the 1950s; and they probably dressed more masculine than a man in the 16th century. I’ve always loved tailoring. I have a very masculine side, and a lot of things I do are just takes on traditional masculine pieces, which I find very sexy on women. And we were already using men’s fabric and tailoring materials for the women’s collection, so it evolved from that. Naturally, the first sale that we had for the men’s tailoring was from a woman.
Yeah, I don’t put the men’s on a different rack. They’re mixed up with the women’s. That’s the nice thing about having our own stores in New York and London now—we can tell our own story. We do an M-65 field jacket in denim with a cashmere bouclé lining. My guy friends were like, ‘I want that jacket,’ and for me it was difficult to explain to your typical wholesaler that a woman would actually pay for it. Now we can have them in our stores for both men and women. The menswear is also in Bergdorf Goodman and Mr. Porter, and that’s it. We want to keep it focused like this for two years, as we keep developing this wardrobe.
At the end of the day I see what we do as a service. We’re really trying to make sure that our clothing frames the person, that the person is more important than the clothing. I want to make the clothes functional, and have a realness to them. So we needed a guy to understand a guy’s psychology. I did the menswear line with my good friend Peter Miles, who’s an art director. It was a very interesting experience because he grew up in London and I grew up on a ranch in Uruguay, so he has a much more urban take than I do. I like more rustic sweaters that are made of cashmere. And he was like, ‘Why would you like a sweater with specks?’
Oh my god, but I get it. That’s a nice combination.
Yeah, between rural and urban. Me being the hillbilly and him being the sophisticated man. It was a lot of fun, and really a labor of love and out friendship. The merino sweaters and the tailoring are really impeccable. We work with the best tailoring factory in Italy. They’re so good that I actually brought some of my women’s production to them. They’re old-school with canvases on the inside. It’s the old way of constructing a blazer and a pant.
Have you always shopped men’s, personally speaking?
Yes, I grew up on a ranch and my mom dressed as a gaucho, which was not very different from how my dad dressed. There was a uniformity to how men and women dressed. My mom always wore bombacha boots.
What are some men’s pieces that you own and cherish?
Oh, every time I go to Japan, I buy men’s. I have a lot of pieces from Japanese men’s designers because they fit me. Blazers, pants, outerwear... I have this special-edition Barbour jacket from eight years ago from Japan that’s amazing. Even now, I’m dressed in a man’s denim shirt that I bought in Japan and men’s jeans.
In terms of the process, have you found menswear easier than women’s?
Yes, it’s much easier because it’s much simpler what we’re doing. A lot of it is recoloring and there’s less development and more focus on fabrication.
What is the allure of a woman in men’s clothes?
Every time I see a woman in men’s clothes, I find it very sexy. Always that’s my inclination. In a way it feels less like we’re emerging from this beautiful present that’s wrapped up with a big ribbon. In men’s clothes, it’s much more about your strength and discovering the sexuality within. I’m always drawn to things that are not obviously sexy, but rather more seductive. There’s a seductiveness that comes from a woman in men’s clothes.
GABRIELA HEARST men’s cashmere sweater
and check wool pants.
Gabriela Hearst’s office. Hanging on the wall is a large photograph
of her mother on her ranch in Uruguay.
GABRIELA HEARST men’s check wool suit;
Bra, designer's own.
“THERE’S A SEDUCTIVENESS THAT COMES FROM A WOMAN IN MEN’S CLOTHES.”
GABRIELA HEARST men’s
suit and turtleneck; Her own