Carolina Herrera has had a career in the fashion industry for over six decades, dressing numerous US First Ladies such as Jackie Kennedy, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and current First Lady, Melanie Trump. The influence of her grandmother, who introduced her to fashion, led her to become one of the foremost fashion designers in America.
Herrera debuted her first full fashion line at the famed Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. The collection was a huge success and she was highlighted in Martha’s, a popular Park Avenue boutique. Initially founded in her native Caracas, her clothing line is now headquartered in New York. A fashion icon and trendsetter herself, Herrera remained on the International Best Dressed List for more than a decade before she was nominated to the Best Dressed Hall of Fame.
Her influence in the fashion world continues today. In 2016 she debuted a new fragrance for called Good Girl. Other noteworthy contributions to the fashion world include:
- Womenswear Designer of the Year (2004)
- Award of Excellence from The International Center in New York
- Style Awards Designer of the Year (2012)
- Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion (2014)
Like the models and famous women she dresses, Carolina Herrera has graced the cover of iconic fashion magazine, Vogue, an amazing seven times. A socialite in her own right, she received no formal training for the industry in which she has been so very influential. Although, she enjoyed sewing her own doll clothes as a young girl, as she grew into adulthood she became less interested in sewing and more interested in the design and business side of fashion. Despite this lack of training, she is a self-taught woman who has expanded her clothing line to include fragrances, wedding gowns, scarves, and handbags. On her longevity in this industry, she says, “Age is something only in your head or a stereotype. Age means nothing when you are passionate about something.”
While in her native Caracas, she befriended publishing tycoon, Armando de Armas, who funded her first apparel collection. She made a handful of sample pieces and presented them to critical acclaim. Her business grew as her line appealed to well-known women like Estee Lauder, whose influence and media attention helped spur ongoing interest in her company. In 1995, Herrera sold her business to the Spanish fragrance company ‘Puig’, where she served as its Creative Director. Following this acquisition, she opened her first store in Manhattan and further expanded her business into Europe.
Carolina Herrera came from a wealthy family as was herself a socialite. Rather than lean on her family’s wealth and connections, she created her own empire. She is an example to women everywhere that you can design your own future and ensure your own wealth. Her enormous success has not changed the core of who she is. She says, “Feeling good about yourself and your life is very important. I’m a happy woman, happy with my husband, my daughters, my grandchildren. We all get along quite well, and that keeps me centered.”