Carolina Herrera – Designer information

Carolina Herrera, a designer that designs represents elegance, class and the ultimate cultivated women

Carolina Herrera – Designer Biography

Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan fashion designer, who is known for her gracious and elegant designs.


Early Life

  • Maria Carolina Josefina Pacanins was born on 8 January 1939 in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • She was born into a well-established family, with her father being an aviation pioneer, who served as governor of Caracas and the country’s foreign affairs minister.
  • Carolina’s mother and grandmother where also known as chic women and had their clothes made by exclusive design houses, examples being Balenciaga and Lanvin.
  • Carolina lived a privileged life, but her parents were strict with her and her siblings, instilling in them, that they had to be refined and educated women.



  • Carolina Herrera started out her life in fashion by working as publicist for Emilo Pucci.
  • In 1968, Carolina married to Reinaldo Herrera, who also came from a well-off Venezuelan family.
  • The two then started what would be a romantic and luxurious lifestyle, travelling and acquainting themselves with the elite such as Princess Margaret and Andy Warhol etc.
  • Carolina Herrerastarted appearing on International Best Dressed lists regularly.
  • She moved to New York with her entire family.
  • Carolina now approaching her 40th birthday, decided she would go into a fashion-related business, full-time.
  • Close friends from the fashion industry encouraged her to design her own clothing line.
  • In 1980, she brought twenty of her dresses to New York from Venezuela, which her dressmaker had made for her in Caracas.
  • She showcase these dress to friends and acquaintances from the fashion industry at a Park Avenue apartment, and soon she received calls from buyers for some of New York’s upscale fashion stores.
  • The stores however wanted more from Carolina, but she had no company, which meant no manufacturing of clothing and ultimately no deal.
  • While in Caracas, Carolina Herrera met publishing tycoon Armando de Armas, who presented her with financial backing.
  • Carolina then opened Carolina Ltd., on Seventh Avenue in New York.
  • In 1981, she showcased her debut collection at New York’s Metropolitan.
  • After the success of her debut collection, her business started to grow rapidly.
  • Some of her most loyal customers where people such as cosmetics tycoon Estee Lauder, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • The media though did not take a liking to the designer, and often criticized her, Caroline being the gracious lady she is, took this criticism as inspiration to do better.
  • Some of  Carolina’s designs found their way into the more mainstream fashion stores.
  • Carolina was also one of the first designers to use padded shoulders in her clothing, she believed that items with padded shoulders gave the illusion of a smaller waist.
  • In 1986, Carolina Herrera designed the wedding dress of Caroline Kennedy.
  • This shot the brands sales up and Carolina Herrera became an overnight household sensation.
  • Carolina then expanded, by launching a made-to-order line, a bridal wear collection and a more affordable label, named CH.
  • In 1988, she launched a fragrance line, an accessories line and eyewear collection.
  • By 1990, the brand was worth an estimated $20 million.
  • Carolina Herrera opened a more exclusive showroom on Seventh Avenue, New York.
  • In the 1990’s, as the fashion mood changed and the brand still kept its elegance, but understood that they needed to still keep up with the modern trends.
  • In 1991, she signed a contract with Puig, a Spanished cosmetics company, together they launched a top selling men’s fragrance.
  • In 1994, she parted ways with Armas, he sold he share to Puig.
  • She once again continued to expand her empire by adding new product lines regularly.
  • In 2000, Carolina Herrera opened her first retail store, on Madison Avenue, 75th street in Manhattan.
  • In 2002, she opened her first store outside New York, in Madrid’s upmarket Salamanca district.
  • In 2004, she received the Womenswear designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designer America (CFDA).
  • In 2008, she was once again the recipient of another CFDA award, this time Geoffrey Been Lifetime Achievement Award
  • In 2014, she was awarded the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.



Carolina Herrera designs are best known for their elegance. Carolina has the ability to design clothes that compliment a women’s shape. She also known for her own personal style, having appeared on numerous best dressed lists. Items she is known for featuring shoulder pads and designing the wedding dress of  Caroline Kennedy.

Present Day

  • Today the Carolina Herrera brand has stores all around the world
  • You can also find her clothing on high-profile members of society, including First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • She also holds a position on the board of the CFDA.
  • Carolina Herrera is a lady who represent great style and exemplifies elegant femininity, today she is seen as one of the most respected ladies in fashion industry.


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