the designers

Carolina Herrera was born in in Caracas, Venezuela in 1939, her full name is Maria Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Nino. She came from one of venezuela’s most prominent families.

She grew up in the midst of international socialites, wearing made-to-order clothes. At the age of 13, Carolina was taken to Paris to see a Balenciaga fashion show, an event that she considers influential in how she looks at clothes. From then on, Carolina became involved in the total dressmaking process, working with the dressmaker or designer on choice of style, fabric, and fit.

Her sense of taste and style won many accolades, especially from friends who eventually became her clients. After many years on the International Best Dressed list, she embarked on a career in textile design. She arrived in the United States in 1980 with her husband and four daughters. Her friend, Diana Vreeland, former editor of Vogue magazine, convinced her to design dresses rather than fabrics.

In 1981, she opened her business with a collection of twenty dresses. At first Herrera's clothes had the exaggerated sleeves and shoulder pads often associated with the Dynasty television show. She holds her fashion shows in Manhattan's Plaza Hotel.

She launched her fur collection in 1984 and her CH Collection (a more affordable line) in 1986. Her bridal line was launched in 1987, after she designed Caroline Kennedy's wedding gown. Her perfume lines followed in 1988.

Her empire grew so rapidly and steadily since its creation that she went on to dress Jacqueline Onassis for the last twelve years of her life. Jackie had changed her look from her early days as wife of the US president and loved Carolina's elegant luxury clothing.

She is married to Venezuelan Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, son of fashion icon María Teresa (Mimí) Guevara Pietrantoni de Herrera Uslar, with whom she had two daughters. She was previously married to Guillermo Behrens Tello, bearing him two daughters as well.

Carolina Herrera takes her inspiration from many sources. In 1997, her collection was in homage to Carmen Miranda, the colourful film star of the 40's. She used ruffles, platform shoes, feathers. She also used the film on the life of Eva Peron, "Evita", as inspiration to send her girls down the catwalk in ruffled skirts and printed chiffon, silk suits, with their hair tied back in blond chignons.

Working with an increasingly slimmer silhouette, she has become known for elegant daywear and evening wear. She has already brought out her Bridal collection for Spring 2003.

The Look

Sleek, chic and glamorous. Evening dresses and gowns in moiré satin, sweeping ball skirts paired with crisp white cotton shirts and broadtail cocktail dresses. For day, trumpet skirts and 1940’s tweed suits.

Who Wears It

Renee Zellweger, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Salma Hayek


1988 Carolina Herrera (W)
1991 Herrera for Men
1994 Flore
1997 Aqua Flore (W)
2000 212 (W)
2000 212 (M)
2000 212 Summer Cocktail (W)
2001 212 On Ice (W)
2001 212 On Ice Green (M)
2001 Herrera Refreshing Ginger (M)
2001 Herrera Sensual Vetiver (M)
2002 Chic (W)
2003 Carolina (W)
2003 212 H20 (W)
2003 212 H20 (M)
2003 212 Shiny Silver (W)
2003 212 Shiny Silver (M)
2003 White (W)
2003 White (M)
2004 Sexy (W)
2004 Chic (M)
2004 Chic White (W)
2004 Aqua (M)
2005 Chic Crystal (W)

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