Growing up on a ranch in Uruguay that specialised in organic beef and merino wool, Gabriela Hearst was surrounded by clothmaking from a young age. Her first clothing line, Candela, was launched in 2004 and channelled much of the boho, outdoorsy lifestyle of her childhood. Three years ago she switched to designing clothes more reflective of her adult life—she lives in New York with husband Austin Hearst, heir to the magazine empire—and launched her eponymous brand. Despite a cooler, more sophisticated aesthetic, ranching values continue to influence her collections. The inherent femininity of feathered skirts, ivory-lace dresses and chiffon blouses is undercut by sturdy wax jackets, practical woollen blanket shawls, and riding boots made with double-welted, hand-stitched soles like classic men’s shoes. These are elegant clothes made from the finest materials and built to last. Her autumn collection uses merino wool from her own family’s ranch, whose management Hearst took over in 2011 after the death of her father. Her handbags are also well worth checking out. When carrying one of the prototypes, Hearst was stopped in the street by a man who complimented her on her handbag and asked where he could buy one. The admirer turned out to be Jony Ive, the head of design at Apple. If that’s not testament to Hearst’s aesthetic, I don’t know what is.