Inside the fashion closet of Gabriele Hackworthy

By Farah Shafiq

2 minute read

What makes a bag collector – is it a numbers game, or all about the eye for detail?

Gabriele Hackworthy would argue the latter, and we’re inclined to agree. “I am not a hoarder,” she tells us, “I’m more of the ‘one in one out’ mindset and I don’t keep anything I don’t love. Marie Kondo would be proud.”

In her previous lives as SVP of global comms and marketing at Jimmy Choo, and global editorial fashion director at Net-A-Porter, Hackworthy has built up an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and a knack for storytelling. “I love fashion because of its transformative power as a tool of personal expression,” she says. “And the fashion industry is full of wonderful, eccentric, brilliant, creative people.”

Here, she answers our quick-fire questions on her favourite bags and vintage fashion highlights

The Hollywood Reporter And Jimmy Choo Power Stylists Dinner
Top: Photography courtesy of Gabriele Hackworthy/Instagram. Above: Photography by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Tell us the story of your most treasured bag?

I bought my vintage Hermès Constance in an online auction while I was pregnant, overdue and waiting to go into labour. I had considered naming my daughter Constance, but we decided on Charlotte in the end. The bag was my ‘push present’ to myself.

What’s your current day-to-day bag of choice?

Right now, I need a chic grocery bag as I constantly find myself in a queue at the supermarket. So, I am using a dark green nylon tote bag by Prada that is at least 15 years old. It was a press gift, from the days when Prada would send fashion directors attending their show a new bag practically every season, delivered to our hotels on arrival in Milan. That was the beginning of mass-gifting activations to create the new It bag.

If you could take one bag from your closet out for the evening, which would it be, and where would you go?

A wristlet bag from The Row is my go to, as it’s big enough to fit my makeup, phone etc., but it’s effortless to carry. Given that we’re spending more time at home than ever, due to the pandemic, I’m now happy to go anywhere that’s not my living room!

Where and how do you store your bags? 

I stuff them with acid-free paper or plastic bags to retain their shape, place them in cloth bags and then stand them up on a shelf in my closet. 

What’s your best advice for starting a bag collection?

Buy for life. Before I buy a bag, I always ask myself if I will love it in 10, 20, 30 years time.

Name your top place to buy vintage?

Ebay and 1stdibs. 

Your #FeetUpFriday Instagtam posts nearly always include a bag, what’s the criteria for styling the bag to the shoes? 

I don’t have any rules for styling, but my colour palette is consistent, so it’s usually a black, white, navy or red bag. I tend to stay away from a ‘matchy matchy’ bag and shoe look. 

What’s your favourite vintage bag shot from the fashion archives?

It’s a tie between: Spring/Summer 2008 Yves Saint Laurent by Inez and Vinoodh, featuring Kate Moss; and Fall 1996 Prada by Glen Luchford, featuring Amber Valletta. 

What’s your favourite quote on bags and who said it?

“A woman is like a tea bag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

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