The Venezuelan Immigrant Who Became the Queen of Fashion
Born in Caracas (1939) to the son of a former officer and a rich socialite mother, Carolina Herrera remembers to grow up accustomed to see pretty things. After an unhappy marriage and a life spent among Caracas high-ranking military officials, wealthy landowners and oil magnates, in 1968 she re-married Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, a famous Venezuelan aristocrat and journalist (the host of Buenos Días, a Venezuelan morning-television news program. Together they moved to New York in the end of the 70's, where Reinaldo staretd to work for Vanity Fair magazine and she began to focus on fashion design, a career that son led her to success.
She was already 42, and a mother of four, reports El País in an interview to Carolina published this weekend (in English).
“I’m an ordinary person who plays with her grandchildren and takes brisk walks in Central Park to speed up her heart rate,” she says. “I don’t spend my days on a plane or at a party, nor do I always wear white blouses, and I never drink champagne. I prefer tequila. At home I’m a very bad cook who doesn’t even know how to boil water. I was brought up to be the lady of the house, tell the servants what to do and have a large number of children…”
According to Herrera fashion not about helping women to look younger: “They don’t realize that trying to look younger is the first sign of aging,” she says. “What you wear should suit your age. The first beauty accessory a woman should have is a full-length mirror so she can see what she looks good in. I know what suits me. And I’d rather look old than ridiculous.”
At 78, Carolina Herrera is about to receive the prestigious Women’s Leadership Award for her 35 years as the doyenne of US fashion.Thirty-five years is a respectable amount of time to head an empire, but though Carolina’s shoulders are beginning to look too frail for the responsibility, she refuses to contemplate retirement, never mind talking about who will succeed her. After all, she is Carolina Herrera. “I’m not going to take a backseat,” she says firmly.
Read the full interview to Carolina Herrera in El País.(In English)