“I love the idea of elegance and intricacy, but whether it’s in a piece of clothing or a fragrance, the intricacy must appear as simplicity,” says Carolina Herrera.
Carolina oversees an international design firm that encompasses her signature fashion collection, a bridal collection and fragrances and accessories. “I started doing this because I loved fashion,” she says. “But I had no idea what it would turn into. I can only say that I am very lucky my mother instilled such discipline and structure in my life!” Herrera, born in Caracas, Venezuela, descends from a long line of Venezuelan landowners and statesmen. The designer is animated by her affection for her parents, Guillermo and Maria Cristina Pacanins, admitting that she has been “spoiled as far as men’s looks are concerned” because her father was so dashing. She refers with love to her mother’s “sophisticated aura.” “She was very strict, but not in a loud way,” Herrera adds. “There was a time and place for everything. I have carried this idea with me all my life.”
After receiving a positive reaction to a fashion collection she created in 1981 as a “test,” she moved with her family to New York from Caracas and formed Carolina Herrera, Ltd. Her exquisitely detailed and expertly crafted creations were an immediate success. Chic, sophisticated women all over the world turned to Herrera’s label for the type of impeccable suits, dresses and gowns that she instinctively knew how to design - the legacy of having grown up in a world where women wore only haute couture. Herrera herself had attended her first couture show, that of Cristobal Balenciaga, at the age of 13 with her grandmother.