If you’re a world traveler, you most likely have already been to those groups where the entire purpose is to give you a sales pitch on this or that. Yet people in this group have found jobs, social support, business contacts, and romantic partners there without all that hype.
The wide range of backgrounds, experiences, cultures and dreams of attendees always keeps things interesting.
Hearst’s spread is run by a full-time foreman, there since her father’s time, but she flies down from New York several times a year (a 24-hour trip requiring three planes, one a two-seater) to oversee sheep shearing and the plethora of details that come with 5,000 heads of cattle, 9,000 sheep and 110 horses.
“No one,” she says, “was more gaucho than my father,” although he was one of Uruguay’s few self-made ranchers, whose mother was a teacher and whose father died when he was 2.
“It has the opposite effect of a king-size bed,” she says.
“You get closer.”The polarities of her dual identities — high-end Manhattan mother-cum-designer and indomitable estancia gaucho — have a pleasing resonance, and Hearst is working to incorporate some of the ranch’s bounty into her clothing.
Austin’s, of course, was San Simeon, the well-groomed coastal California spread (including the now-public Hearst Castle) where he rode the Arabians his family breeds. “It sounded so nice,” she says, “but I was thinking, ‘No, I meant I grew up on a .’ ”The onetime-model-turned-fashion designer now owns that ranch.
Tall and animated, with the untamed grace of a leggy thoroughbred, Hearst has won praise for her two-year-old line, Gabriela Hearst, which marries the urban sophistication of her New York life with the more rustic romanticism of her childhood home — 17,000 acres on the pampas of Uruguay’s Paysandu region.
He had started the website, Total just before he moved. The weekly meeting has since grown into a multinational, multicultural social networking event and social support group.
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When Gabriela Hearst began dating her future husband Austin Hearst, scion of the publishing clan, they shared memories of growing up on their families’ ranches.
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(Austin Hearst, whom she married in 2013, has two children, 19 and 21, from a previous marriage.)When Hearst was 5, she was sent to live with her grandmother in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, where she attended a prototypical English school.