2023 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion: Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst
Gabriela Hearst. Photo by: Zoë Ghertner

The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT (MFIT) honored Gabriela Hearst, founder and creative director of her namesake fashion brand Gabriela Hearst and creative director of French luxury fashion house Chloé, with its 2023 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion during its annual luncheon on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. The event heralded the arrival of New York Fashion Week, with proceeds benefiting MFIT, the only museum in New York dedicated exclusively to the art of fashion. Lara Meiland-Shaw, board chair, Couture Council, and Melissa Mafrige Mithoff, vice chair, Couture Council served as co-chairs, and Nordstrom was the presenting sponsor.


Hearst, who was born in Uruguay and is based in New York, launched her eponymous label in 2015; it was inspired by her time growing up on her family’s ranch in Uruguay, where the meaning of luxury meant something was both thoughtfully crafted and durable. Her runway shows have been an eminent example of sustainability using deadstock fabrics and eliminating plastic use, and her SS20 collection marked the first-ever carbon-neutral runway show. In December 2020, Hearst was named creative director at Chloé, and since her arrival has built the brand into a purpose-driven and socially-engaged company that has experienced exponential success. Hearst has been recognized with honors including the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear, and the 2020 CFDA American Womenswear Designer of the Year, and was selected as one of the five Honorees in the Environment category among the fifteen Leaders of Change at the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards; she was also named one of the Financial Times’s 25 most influential women of 2021, among other accolades.

“It is such an honor for the team and I to receive the 2023 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion from one of the most prestigious design institutions,” said Hearst. “We take this recognition with the humbleness of dedicating ourselves more to the work. Designing with consciousness of others and our environment not only enriches us with purpose but also focuses our creativity.”

“Gabriela Hearst has positioned herself as an eco-conscious designer who believes creating aspirational sustainable fashion is possible, and she has achieved this with each collection—,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “Her vision–that a fashion brand can be successful while meeting social and environmental performance standards has been validated by the growth of Chloé under her creative leadership. The students at FIT are aspiring designers with a sustainability mindset and she is an inspiration to them. It is our honor to recognize her sustainability work and contribution to the world of fashion.”

“Born in Uruguay, where she grew up on her parents’ ranch, Gabriela Hearst is today one of fashion’s most visionary creators,” says Dr. Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at FIT. “Her luxurious, beautiful, and sustainable fashions are already iconic. We are proud to honor her with the 2023 Couture Council Award.”


Past recipients of the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion are Maria Grazia Chiuri (2022), Wes Gordon (2021), Christian Louboutin (2019), Narciso Rodriguez (2018), Thom Browne (2017), Albert Kriemler of Akris (2016), Manolo Blahnik (2015), Carolina Herrera (2014), FIT alumnus Michael Kors (2013), Oscar de la Renta (2012), Valentino (2011), Karl Lagerfeld (2010), Dries Van Noten (2009), Isabel Toledo (2008), Alber Elbaz (2007), and FIT alumnus Ralph Rucci (2006). In 2008, Giorgio Armani received a special award for Global Fashion Leadership.

The Museum at FIT’s exhibition ¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design Today, which examined the work of Latin American and Latinx fashion designers from the first two decades of the 21st century, featured designs by Gabriela Hearst.

Fashion Icon Table  $50,000 (Premium Seating for 10)
Haute Couture Table $25,000 (Priority Seating for 10)
Couture Table $20,000 (Priority Seating for 10)
(Couture Council Member Price)
Haute Couture Single Ticket $2,500
Couture Single Ticket $2,000 (Couture Council Member Price)

Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s ranch in Uruguay, where the notion of luxury meant things were beautifully crafted and made to last, which inspired the launch of her eponymous label in fall 2015. She wanted a brand that reflected purpose in every piece—luxury collections with a conscience or “honest luxury.” Hearst’s runway shows have been an eminent example of sustainability, using deadstock fabrics, and eliminating plastic use. Her SS20 collection marked the first ever carbon neutral runway show. She was the winner of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear, the 2020 CFDA American Womenswear Designer of the Year, 2022 recipient of the Infinity Trustees Award by the International Center of Photography, and was selected as one of the five Honorees in the Environment category among the 15 Leaders of Change at the British Fashion Council’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 Fashion Awards. In December 2020, Hearst was named Creative Director at Chloé, and most recently, she was named one of the 25 most influential women of 2021 by the Financial Times.


As one of the leading luxury fashion houses based in Paris, Chloé embodies a forward-looking yet timeless style with a purpose-driven model that advances positive social and environmental change. Chloé was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, an Egyptian-born Parisian who wanted to liberate women’s bodies from the stiff and formal fashion of the era through her luxury ready-to-wear offering. Since its inception, the maison has entrusted a succession of emerging talents to further Aghion’s vision: Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon, and Natacha Ramsay-Levi. The maison’s current creative director, Gabriela Hearst, brings a steadfast commitment to producing beautiful products with meaningful impact—honest luxury—a brand ethos that includes responsible sourcing, lower-impact materials, and artisanal techniques. In October 2021, Chloé received B Corp certification—a demanding, independent evaluation process—that marks a new stage in the maison’s transformation.


Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) exists to help customers feel good and look their best. Since starting as a shoe store in 1901, how to best serve customers has been at the center of every decision they make. This heritage of service is the foundation they’re building on as they provide convenience and true connection for their customers. Their digital-first platform enables them to serve customers when, where, and how they want to shop—whether that’s in store at more than 350 Nordstrom, Nordstrom Local, and Nordstrom Rack locations or digitally through their Nordstrom and Rack apps and websites. Through it all, they remain committed to leaving the world better than they found it.


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