Located along the façade of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, designer Gabriela Hearst‘s first West Coast store has just opened.
With an emphasis on natural materials and quality undertaken with a utilitarian perspective, the store takes inspiration from Hearst’s family ranch in Uruguay, where she grew up. The soaring vaults also speak to the city’s vernacular architecture and the work of Paul R. Williams, the architect who designed many of L.A.’s most iconic buildings, including the Beverly Wilshire, and was part of the team that conceptualized the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport.
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 technics including time-consuming hand-application of finishings in Roman Clay, an eco-friendly plaster.
Gabriela Hearst collaborated with architect Foster + Partners led by Norman Foster to design the store, the second one designed for the brand by the practice following the London flagship. The brand commissioned designer-makers Benji Gavron and Antoine Dumas of Gavron Dumas Studio to design a collection of bespoke furniture as wall-hung shelving, seating and freestanding furniture.
The furniture and fixtures were sustainably made from Western Sycamore that grew within the city of Los Angeles and were previously destined to be turned into wood chips. Working with local sawyers, Gavron Dumas Studio had these trees milled into the special timber. The pieces were then built by artisans at Dusk, a furniture studio based in Los Angeles known for working with timber.
Every detail of the store has been thoughtfully considered – from the rose gold aluminum door handles, which are a modern take on Gabriela’s family ranch’s logo – to the bespoke rugs and wall hangings, which have been created based on drawings of the Brooklyn-based artist, Eli Tamarkin.
“The immense gratitude to once again have the opportunity to work with a master like Sir Norman Foster, a pioneer in sustainability, design and architecture that doesn’t compromise beauty, intelligence and timeless quality. The joy of seeing the remarkable talent of Antoine and Benji from Gavron Dumas Studio bloom to heights never imagined, successfully exploring their creativity with the values of reclaimed, local and craft. This is not a store, it’s a home for us, which was done by many hands that believe beauty is intrinsic to the soul but with the respect of our fellow human and mother nature,” said Hearst. “It is the true result of collaborative work. Of everybody having a say and being respected for their talent and knowhow. What you get is excellence, I couldn’t be more proud.”
The flagship sells 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 is the exclusive retailer for Gabriela Hearst handbag collections on the West Coast, including the Nina, the Demi, the Diana, and the Baez among others.
Launched in 2015, Gabriela Hearst’s eponymous label now has three stores worldwide. The first was opened on Madison Avenue in New York in 2018, followed by the one in London on Brook Street, designed by Norman Foster in 2019.
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