Gabriela Hearst Designs Costumes for San Francisco Ballet

Gabriela Hearst Designs Costumes for San Francisco Ballet

Hearst’s Eco-Friendly Designs Take Center Stage in Ballet’s Modern Take on Classic Tale

In a groundbreaking collaboration between luxury fashion and classical dance, Gabriela Hearst debuts her sustainable designs at the San Francisco Ballet’s production of Carmen. Hearst, renowned for her eco-conscious approach to fashion, crafts the entire ensemble for the ballet’s cast from merino wool, redefining the traditional concept of ballet costumes.

The collaboration is part of the San Francisco Ballet’s Dos Mujeres double bill, a celebration of Latina choreographers and their stories. Led by artistic director Tamara Rojo, the program showcases the works of Arielle Smith and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, alongside Hearst’s innovative costume designs.

Hearst’s journey into the world of ballet began with a shared vision between herself and choreographer Arielle Smith. Smith’s interpretation of Carmen, set in modern-day Cuba, called for costumes that reflect the strength and independence of the iconic character. Hearst’s designs, made entirely from merino wool, bring this vision to life, offering both sustainability and style.

“When Areille said she wanted the clothes to feel normal…and that she resonated with the colors I thought were very Latin but not a caricature, I was so excited,” Hearst shared. “The other thing people always ask me, what is the most sustainable fiber you can use? And it’s wool, and merino is one of the thinnest wools there is in the world, and has high performance. So I think that was also exciting to do all the costumes knitted.”

The result is a collection of costumes that not only embody the spirit of the ballet but also prioritize comfort and performance for the dancers. Vibrant reds, sunflower yellows, and deep blacks accentuate the fluid movements of the dancers, while the ribbed merino wool fabric provides both flexibility and durability.

Hearst’s foray into ballet costume design marks a significant step in the intersection of fashion and dance. Her commitment to sustainability and ethical production practices aligns perfectly with the San Francisco Ballet’s dedication to artistic excellence and social responsibility.

As part of the Dos Mujeres program, Carmen is paired with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings, offering audiences a diverse and captivating exploration of Latina womanhood. Together, these works represent a milestone for the San Francisco Ballet, showcasing the depth and richness of Latiné stories on stage.

The performances, featuring principal dancers Jasmine Jimison, Sasha de Sola, Jennifer Stahl, Esteban Hernández, Joseph Walsh, and Wei Wang, are scheduled to run from April 4th to April 14th. Audiences can expect an immersive experience that combines exceptional choreography, original music, and innovative costume design, all coming together to celebrate the power of dance and storytelling.