Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Carolina Herrera: Simply Elegant....
In the fall of 1980, she brought about 20 dresses,—which her dressmaker made for her in Caracas—to New York City. She borrowed the Park Avenue apartment of an acquaintance and invited her friends to have a look at them. She decided to start a business of selling dresses after getting a positive response from her friends.
In Caracas, she met Armando de Armas, a publishing tycoon, who offered to fund her and within months, a design atelier and showroom, Carolina Herrera Ltd., was opened in New York. In April 1981, her first full collection was showcased at the New York's Metropolitan Club.
In 1981, her friend Diana Vreeland, then Editor-in-Chief of ‘Vogue’, suggested that she should design a clothing line. She made some samples in Caracas, and displayed her collection at Manhattan's Metropolitan Club which received positive critical acclaim.
Her business started quite small with just a dozen employees but soon grew rapidly and the socialites who knew her became some of her first devoted customers. Women like Estee Lauder, a cosmetics tycoon, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the former First Lady, became her clients.
In the late 1980s, Spanish fragrance company ‘Puig’ licensed the name of ‘Carolina Herrera’ to develop and market a line of perfumes. In 1991, she created a top-selling men's scent, ‘Herrera for Men’, and regularly added new women's products to the line.
In 1995, the Spanish fragrance company ‘Puig’ acquired the Carolina Herrera fashion business and appointed her as its Creative Director.
In 2000, she opened her first store in Manhattan, and looked forward to expanding her business further into Europe. Within two years, she opened her first collection boutique outside of New York.
In 2008, she launched a ready-to-wear brand called CH Carolina Herrera. As on today there exist numerous Carolina Herrera and CH Carolina Herrera boutiques in the world.
She was one of the first designers to make use of padded shoulders, believing that broader shoulders made a woman's waist appear smaller. Some of her most notable clients have been Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Duchess Diana de Melo, Michelle Obama, and actress Renée Zellweger.
In 1972, she made her first appearance on the ‘International Best Dressed List’ and was elected to its Hall of Fame in 1980.
In 1997, she received the ‘Gold Medal’ from the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute.
In 2002, she became the recipient of ‘The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence’ as well as ‘Spain's Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts’.
In 2004, she was named the ‘Womenswear Designer of the Year’.
In 2008, she was awarded the ‘Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
In 2012, she was honored with the ‘Fashion Group International Superstar Award’ and the ‘Style Awards Designer of the Year’.
In 2014, she was presented with the ‘Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion’. She has been on the cover of ‘Vogue’ seven times.
In 1957, she married Guillermo Behrens Tello, a Venezuelan landowner. They were blessed with two daughters, Mercedes and Ana Luisa. The couple divorced in 1964.
In 1968, she married Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, a magazine editor and the 5th Marqués of Torre Casa. They have two daughters, Carolina Adriana and Patricia Cristina.
Posted by at 11:13 AM