Based in Los Angeles, Henriette Ernst is a German fashion designer, with over twenty years of international experience in design and branding. Maintaining an influential, behind-the-scenes role throughout her career, Henriette is deeply respected within the industry for her distinct aesthetic, creative approach, and focused methodology. Her visionary style infuses elements of simplicity, functionality, craftsmanship and innovation as she uncovers, develops and strengthens the DNA of the brands she supports, ensuring consistency and authenticity to ultimately drive awareness and sales.
Growing up in Berlin in an academic and artistic home, Henriette was deeply inspired by her family’s architecture and design background related to the Bauhaus. The movement’s dedication to timeless, handcrafted perfectionism and a harmonious union of art and design continues to inspire her today. Henriette has also been greatly influenced by the vibrant and rebellious nature of the streets in Berlin during the 1970s and 1980s. This wild freedom has given her the ability to easily tap into a state of mind where there are no limits to what can be created. These combined experiences have greatly informed her ability to effortlessly balance the dualistic nature of style throughout her work.
Henriette’s critical eye and remarkable skill with color and timing as well as her innate instinct of what’s next, have led her to develop countless concepts, materials and designs that were not only unique for each brand, but also influenced the business of fashion over the last two decades.
Through her career, Henriette has worked in the luxury market with designer brands such as Céline, Jil Sander, Calvin Klein Collection and Dries Van Noten. She has not only led design teams to grow successfully, but she has also placed her own creative fingerprint on countless memorable collections by being a strong force and supporter of the brand’s creative director, including some of today’s most influential fashion designers – Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo, and Francisco Costa, among others. With her passion, impeccable taste and commitment to perfection, Henriette has mentored and motivated countless young designers, and strives to create, inspire and lead a team culture.
Building on these designer brand successes and experiences, Henriette accepted a unique opportunity to work with fashion industry pioneer and entrepreneur, Joe Mimran, as the Senior Vice President of the Women's Collection at Joe Fresh – the stylish yet affordable sportswear brand which he co-founded (after launching and subsequently selling Club Monaco). While there, she collaborated with company President, Mario Grauso, and was responsible for the overall design direction of the brand by interpreting trends and elevating the brand aesthetic, as well as bridging the design, production and merchandising teams to improve efficiency.
Today, Henriette is an independent design consultant, as well as the entrepreneurial Founder & Chief Creative Officer of ROUND + SQUARE, the socially conscious, sustainable fashion brand she launched in 2016. The brand allows her to control all aspects of the business and was conceived to benefit gender equality through the sale of her exclusive designs of unique organic cotton t-shirts and silk, cashmere and embroidered accessories (ROUNDPLUSSQUARE.COM). The brand’s inaugural giving partner is the human rights organization, Equality Now, which receives 10% of the brand’s sale proceeds. The brand was launched at their annual fundraising event in Los Angeles with supporters Gloria Steinem, Maria Bello and Daphne Zuniga wearing items from the ROUND + SQUARE’s first collection.
Henriette graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium in 1994 with distinction in Fashion Design. She has lived and worked in New York City since 2012.
January 2017, NYC