Carolina Herrera, 80 years of the icon of elegance

A leading woman in the global fashion industry is Carolina Herrera, who This January 8, he celebrates his 83rd birthday. The native of Caracas, Venezuela was born in 1939, her full name is María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño, and since her foray into fashion at the beginning of the 80s, she showed that age is not an impediment to crystallize dreams, because with The 42-year-old laid the foundation for a great emporium that is now celebrating four decades of empowering women.

Currently the creative director of the brand, Carolina’s successor, is the 34-year-old American designer, Wes Gordon, who has the prevailing mandate that the fashion house continues to be one of the most prestigious internationally. Carolina Herrera said goodbye to her position at the presentation of her fall collection in 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York and now her role is that of a global ambassador for the brand.

In an interview for Vogue Spain, the designer said that making this decision was a three-year process to find the right person to be in charge: “It was a decision that I had been pondering for two or three years but had not found the right person. And he wasn’t going to leave 37 years of work to give it to whoever it was just so he could get out. And Wes is that person. “

In 1981 the designer Carolina Herrera presented her first collection of wedding dresses. SPECIAL

Carolina has been married twice, in 1957 to Guillermo Behrens Tello, with whom she had two daughters: Mercedes and Ana Luisa. And in 1968 she married Reinaldo Herrera, her husband today, with him she also had two daughters: Carolina Adriana and Patricia Cristina. Reinaldo was a television presenter and later editor of Vanity Fair magazine, son of the Marquis de la Torre Casa, Reinaldo Herrera Uslar and the society lady, Mimi Herrera-Uslar, according to Vogue México.

Carolina grew up in a wealthy family, fashion came to her thanks to her mother and grandmother, who gave her a taste for good dress. As a young girl, she had the opportunity to witness the Balenciaga shows in Paris, while also wearing Lanvin at the Caracas society balls. His parents were Guillermo Pacanins Acevedo and María Cristina Niño Passios.

Fashion was always significant for Carolina, first it was a means of entertainment and later it became the way to create her emporium, a brand that is distributed in more than 140 countries.

Carolina Herrera, at 42 in 1981, was motivated by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland -in the photo- to present her first show in New York. SPECIAL

After having her last daughter, the style icon would develop her legacy in international fashion and no one could stop her success.

Carolina brought a sophisticated style to the fashion industry, faithful to the rule that less is more, the Caracas designer opted for sobriety and minimalism wrapped in a cosmopolitan and exquisite halo. Vogue shares that Carolina is the most influential Latin American in fashion and that she made the white shirt her insignia: “Tight waists and wide shoulders predominate in the collections, in addition to the famous long, high-waisted skirts that Carolina Herrera herself has made part of his uniform “, highlights the publication.

Returning to the past, after being a full-time housewife, precisely Carolina, at 42 years old in 1981, was motivated by the editor of Vogue, Diana Vreeland to present her first fashion show in New York of a collection she had made in Caracas. New York women of the time were dazzled by Herrera’s designs and the rest is history.

Carolina Herrera shirt dress. SPECIAL

Today the brand has diversified into others, supplying not only the clothing market from luxury and ready-to-wear, as well as wedding dresses, the fashion house is also developed in perfumery, accessories, bags, shoes, leather goods and makeup.

The success of the brand was sparked in New York, the hometown of the designer where she has lived for many years. In fact, in 1995 the New York firm was bought by Puig, a Spanish multinational company that also has other brands such as Dries Van Noten, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne.

Countless celebrities have dressed Carolina Herrera’s designs. Caroline Kennedy, for example, chose her to make her wedding dress, as well as Jessica Simpson and Olivia Palermo married with designs from the firm. Herrera’s bridal creations were even made into a movie by Kristen Stewart, in the “Twilight” saga. Even in 2008, Sarah Jessica Parker with her character from “Carrie Bradshaw” wore a wedding dress by Carolina Herrera for the sequence of a shooting.

Herrera’s bridal creations have been made into a movie by Kristen Stewart, in the “Twilight” saga. SPECIAL

Chronology of an emporium

  • 1980 Carolina Herrera is inducted into the International Best Dressed People Hall of Fame.
  • 1981 Vogue director Diana Vreeland encourages Carolina Herrera to present her first collection at the Metropolitan Club in New York.
  • 1986 Carolina Herrera designs Caroline Kennedy’s wedding dress.
  • 1987 Carolina Herrera presents her first collection for brides.
  • 1988 The Venezuelan designer presents her first perfume.
  • 1991 The creative launches her first fragrance for men.
  • 1996 His daughter Carolina Herrera de Báez joins “Herrera’s House of Fragrances” in the position of creative director.
  • 1999 Launch of 212 Men
  • 2000 Carolina Herrera opens her first flagship boutique between Madison Avenue and 75th Street, in a four-story historic building.
  • 2001 Herrera presents CH Carolina Herrera, a lifestyle collection with ready-to-wear fashion and accessories for men, women and children. The first store in Madrid opens.
  • 2004 She receives the “Women’s Fashion Designer of the Year” award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the “Woman of the Year Award” from Glamor.


  • 2007 The fragrance “CH Carolina Herrera” is born, a sensual and complex perfume. And at the same time, fresh and optimistic.
  • 2008 The Council of Fashion Designers of America honors Carolina Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2010 Herrera receives the prestigious title “Mercedes-Benz Presents” for her spring collection.
  • 2011 Carolina Herrera designs the dress that “Bella” (Kristen Stewart) wears at her wedding with “Edward” (Robert Pattinson) in the movie “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1”.
  • 2011 Launch your lens collection.
  • 2012 He received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
  • 2014 He is awarded the Art of Fashion award from the Haute Couture Council of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • 2015 He premieres his spring 2016 collection at the Frick Collection, the first show to be held at that museum. In that same year, Carolina also presented “Herrera Confidential”, an exclusive collection of fragrances and oils.
  • 2016 It presents Good Girl, its most successful fragrance yet.
  • 2018 With more than 72 shows and 37 years of dedication to fashion, Carolina Herrera says goodbye at the presentation of her fall 2018 collection at the Museum of Modern Art. And he appoints American designer Wes Gordon as creative director.
  • 2020 Launches the Carolina Herrera makeup collection, a line of customizable luxury cosmetics.

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