Designer Gabriela Hearst on Her Ideal Escape from New York City

When a break from the hustle and bustle is in order, the designer heads to Uruguay.

Gabriela Hearst on a brown horse
(Image credit: Tali Kimelman)

Gabriela Hearst, 39, has a namesake label that's fast becoming a fashion-set must-have. But when the mom of three needs to get away, she heads to her childhood home in Uruguay—where the nearest town is nearly two hours away. Here, a look at the escape.

Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst

(Image credit: Tom Hines)

The life: I lived on my family's ranch, surrounded by horses and cattle, until I was 17. I took over the sheep-breeding and merino-wool operations after my father passed away in 2011, so now I fly back several times a year. It's very remote—the closest city, Paysandú, is over two hours away. I bring my three kids when I can, because it's important to me that they connect with nature. We don't worry about Wi-Fi or TV—we just enjoy good food and good chat, sit by the fire, and go to bed early. It's heaven.

Fireplace design inside the Estancia Vik José Ignacio hotel

The Estancia Vik José Ignacio hotel

(Image credit: Courtesy of Vik Retreats)

The thrills: We have a few pickup trucks but get around mostly on horseback. My father was a gaucho and taught me how to ride. The property is about 17,000 acres, so you can go for miles. I wear a classic gaucho look—my dad's boots, gaucho pants, a shirt, a faja (cloth waistband), and a leather belt with a silver buckle—to pay respect to the traditions. As a designer, I like clothes that have meaning and functionality. I'm not attracted to pure decorativeness. People like my husband—who is into sports such as cycling, sailing, and fishing—inspire me.

The food: Groceries get delivered monthly, but we eat a lot from the farm. There are chickens, so we have organic eggs, plus lamb, and then tomatoes from the garden. We do big barbecues, too. My favorite thing is a traditional Spanish dessert called Martin Fierro, which is basically cheese and thick, fruity jam.

The essentials: I pack lightweight dresses for hot days, sweaters for cold nights. We also have a place in José Ignacio, a fishing village on the coast near Punta del Este. There, I live in relaxing, bohemian clothes.

Bohemian-style clothes: (1) long polka-dot dress, (2) brown cape, (3) black leather belt with silver buckle, (4) brown saddle, (5) black leather bag, (6) brown leather boots

(Image credit: Rights Unknown)

1. DRESS $1,850, Gabriela Hearst; for similar styles. 2. CAPE $1,295, Max Mara; (248) 637-3073. 3. BELT $138, B-Low The Belt; 4. SADDLE price upon request, Hermès; (800) 441-4488. 5. BAG $1,995, Gabriela Hearst; 6. BOOTS $995, Gabriela Hearst; for similar styles.

This article appears in the October issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.