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“Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better”. The rules of life of legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera

"Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better". The rules of life of legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera
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Source: latintimes.com

 

Several years ago, the restrained and laconic Venezuelan-American fashion designer, stylist and entrepreneur Carolina Herrera erupted in unflattering comments towards modern fashion.

The inheritor of Spanish-Venezuelan landowners and politicians, who has been called one of the most stylish women in the world since the early 70s, spoke out negatively about the transparent dresses that adorned the stars at the Met Gala, also known as the Costume Institute Gala.

“It’s so modern to be naked or almost naked. They are trying to attract attention, but there must be a mystery in the woman! How can they be fashionable icons if they don’t wear anything?” the press quoted Herrera’s words.

Lately, she rarely talks about fashion. A dizzying career and great opportunities, a successful business and time for creativity – all these things were in the life of Carolina Herrera. She made friends with celebrities, designed outfits for the first ladies of the United States, dressed Hollywood divas.

She continued the work of Coco Chanel, but brought a special chic to it.

 

A little black dress must be luxurious, rich, sensual, diaphanous, exotic, severe, lush, demure, demanding, frivolous, amusing, and it must linger in memory, but above all, it must be simple and little and black

Carolina Herrera

 

She became one of the trendsetters for established women. Carolina Herrera was of the opinion that there was no need to experiment with style. Her innate sense of style and her inherent femininity allowed her to look her best wearing a simple white shirt and a daily cut bud skirt.

 According to the designer Herrera, in the sphere of fashion, clothes, and business the main thing is the important balance of values and opportunities.

 

Unfortunately, today there is a lot of confusion about what is sexy and what is vulgar. This is terrifying. They say, “Oh, this girl is so sexy,” and she turns around and her dress is four sizes too small. Or she is wearing so much stuff, you wonder how long it took her to get ready

 

Carolina Herrera

 

In 1939, a girl was born into the family of an air force officer, governor of Caracas, and Venezuela’s foreign minister. The daughter was given a beautiful and complex name – Maria Carolina Josephine Pakanins e Nino.

Since childhood, her three sisters and she did not need anything and could choose an occupation to their wish. Carolina Herrera studied English and French, tennis, horse riding and ballet. Did she want to be a fashion designer? No.

 

"Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better". The rules of life of legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera with Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 around 1979, before she started her fashion career. Photo: Robin Platzer / Getty Images / nytimes.com

 

However, at the age of 13, she accidentally visited the Balenciaga show and got interested in beautiful outfits and the people who create them. They say that a few years later, Carolina created her first black dress, inspired by the images of silent film artists. Relatives appreciated the efforts of the girl, but at the family council it was decided that the dress was too frank and that the governor’s daughter should not wear it.

“Always choose style, not fashion: wear what makes you beautiful,” Carolina Herrera said in one of her interviews. It was on this principle that she created her first collections.

She launched her own company, Carolina Herrera limited, when the family moved to New York. Until that time, Herrera had repeatedly graced the pages of glossy magazines under the heading “Rich and Stylish”. Her flawless image – white top, black bottom, elegant red patent leather shoes – became recognizable.

 

I want women to really look like women from today. It is not from the past and not from the future, because I don’t know what happens in the future. It is the woman of today who I think is a seductive woman

 

Carolina Herrera about her first collection

 

In 1989, the audience of the Metropol club greeted her first show with a standing ovation. The first twenty dresses from the debut line of Carolina Herrera New York were sold out immediately.

What did the sophisticated audience like so much? Revealing the essence of a woman in her collection. To emphasize the graceful waist, Carolina Herrera began to use shoulder pads in her models. To highlight the sophistication of the hands – borrowed the wide sleeves of the Victorian era, giving them a new meaning.

 

"Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better". The rules of life of legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera
Works by Carolina Herrera at the SCAD FASH Museum in Atlanta. Courtesy of Dustin Chambers for The New York Times / nytimes.com

 

In her collections, Herrera preaches elegance, prefers A-shaped silhouettes and high-quality fabrics, decorates classics with cute additions: embroidery, drapery, lace. “Money can’t buy elegance. You can take an inexpensive sheath dress, add a cute scarf, gray shoes and a lovely bag and it will always be elegant!” she says.

With talent and imagination, Carolina Herrera, with a team of ten, experimented and brought to life unique silhouettes.

 

If you ask me to sew a button, I don’t know how to do it! The idea of the whole collection and how you want to build your brand is all about working with the right people. And good luck

 

Carolina Herrera

 

The first lady liked Carolina Herrera’s style – for example, one of her loyal admirers was Jacqueline Kennedy. Having become the designer of a wedding dress for the daughter of American President Caroline Kennedy, Carolina Herrera gained worldwide fame. By the way, the presidential wives and daughters have always been admirers of her talent. Among them are Nancy Reagan, Lauren Bush, Michelle Obama.

 

"Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better". The rules of life of legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera
Caroline Kennedy in a wedding dress from Carolina Herrera / vistelacalle.com

 

Even though Herrera naturally failed while building her business, she always moved forward no matter what. “Mistakes in life teach you how to succeed because you want to try again and do it better,” she said.

Today, her company has stores worldwide and billions in sales of the Carolina Herrera clothing, wedding dress, accessories and perfume lines.

A famous designer creates without betraying her principles: “In my work I prefer to remain realistic, but at the same time I am able to dilute reality with my fantasies. By this principle, I not only work, but also live”. And this is the secret of her success.

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