A Venezuelan Fashion Icon: Carolina Herrera’s $130 Million Success Story

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Carolina Herrera, a Venezuelan-American fashion designer renowned for her exceptional personal style and elegance, established her eponymous fashion house in 1981.

Her designs were characterized by their timeless sophistication, impeccable tailoring, and vibrant use of color.

Carolina Herrera’s Wealth and Diverse Heritage

As of 2023, Carolina Herrera is estimated to have a net worth of $130 million. Her wealth comes from various sources, including her thriving fashion brand, fragrances, and endorsements.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 8, 1939, her full birth name is María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño. She comes from a diverse Venezuelan heritage, which includes Spanish (Canary Islander) roots and possibly other ethnic backgrounds.

Wes Gordon: The Creative Director

In 2018, American fashion designer Wes Gordon assumed the reins as creative director, bringing a fresh perspective while preserving the essence of the Carolina Herrera brand.

American singer Sabrina Carpenter and Carolina Herrera's creative director Wes Gordon attend the 2021 ACE AwardsAmerican singer Sabrina Carpenter and Carolina Herrera’s creative director Wes Gordon attend the 2021 ACE Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on November 2, 2021 (Credit: MEGA / WENN)

A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Gordon had previously honed his skills at Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford.

In an interview, Wes Gordon expressed his gratitude for the opportunity. He explained that he initially started his career by attending design school and then started his own small collection, which he worked on for nearly eight years. He had the fortunate chance to consult for Carolina Herrera, and when Mrs. Herrera was stepping down from her role, he became the Creative Director.

Fashion designer Carolina Herrera and her daughter Carolina Adriana Herrera attend the Carolina Herrera Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2024 fashion showFashion designer Carolina Herrera and her daughter Carolina Adriana Herrera attend the Carolina Herrera Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show as part of the New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2023, in New York City (Credit: INSTARimages)

“I went to design school, and then as soon as I graduated, I started a small collection and did that for nearly eight years and then had the great fortune of coming to Herrera to consult,” Wes Gordon told Margaret Brennan in an episode of Facing Forward.

“And it was right around the time that Mrs. Herrera was stepping down from her role. And I became creative director. So I feel incredibly fortunate to have identified at an early age what it is that brings me joy and what I feel passionate about, and then to have had, you know, supportive parents and opportunities to- to kind of make that a reality.”

Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan-American fashion designer known for her signature style of classic elegance and timeless sophisticationCarolina Herrera is a Venezuelan-American fashion designer known for her signature style of classic elegance and timeless sophistication (Credit: WENN)

“Just don’t say I am retiring,” the then-79-year-old designer told The New York Times in 2018. “I am not retiring! I am moving forward.”

Carolina Herrera Facts

Who is Carolina Herrera?She is a Venezuelan fashion designer known for dressing various First Ladies, including Jacqueline Onassis, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
How to pronounce Hervé LégerHer name is pronounced cair-oh-LEE-nah her-RAIR-ah.
Where is Carolina Herrera from?She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 2009.
Where to buy Carolina Herrera perfumeYou can buy her perfumes, books, and sunglasses on Amazon.

Timeless Wisdom from Carolina Herrera: Quotes on Fashion, Elegance, and Life

“Elegance isn’t solely defined by what you wear. It’s how you carry yourself, how you speak, what you read.” – Carolina Herrera

“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman – it must reflect the personality and style of the bride.” – Carolina Herrera

“Life is hard. It is not too short, it is too long. But you have to learn how to live; you have to have a sense of humour.” – Carolina Herrera

Patti LuPone graced the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater on October 5, 2023, wearing a stunning dress designed by Wes Gordon for Carolina HerreraPatti LuPone graced the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater on October 5, 2023, wearing a stunning dress designed by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

“Fashion never stops. There is always the new project, the new opportunity.” – Carolina Herrera

“I have always loved trouser suits. It’s something I absolutely believe in for women.” – Carolina Herrera

“Fashion has always been a repetition of ideas, but what makes it new is the way you put it together.” – Carolina Herrera

“The first painting that I realised I liked was ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Hieronymus Bosch, when I was six years old, at the Prado in Madrid. I still find myself returning there every time I’m in the city.” – Carolina Herrera

Vanessa Williams exuded elegance in a royal blue Carolina Herrera gown with a crystal-embellished boat-neck detail, designed by Wes Gordon, as she attended the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater on October 5, 2023Vanessa Williams exuded elegance in a royal blue Carolina Herrera gown with a crystal-embellished boat-neck detail, designed by Wes Gordon, as she attended the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater on October 5, 2023 (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

“I don’t believe in naming clients to get press. I hated it when I was a couture client. If the dresses don’t sell themselves, there is something wrong.” – Carolina Herrera

“I always remember my childhood house with happy memories. There was a beautiful garden, and outside my bedroom window was a jasmine vine which would open in the evenings, giving off a divine scent.” – Carolina Herrera

“I believe that you have to treat the people who work with you like your family.” – Carolina Herrera

“When you live and work in different time zones, you spend a lot of time on airplanes.” – Carolina Herrera

Sarah Jessica Parker made a chic entrance at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala on October 5, 2023, donning a Carolina Herrera off-the-shoulder gown featuring a ballerina-style tulle skirt, complemented by an oversized hair bow, a Vacheron Constantin watch, and mismatched shoes from her own namesake brandSarah Jessica Parker made a chic entrance at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala on October 5, 2023, donning a Carolina Herrera off-the-shoulder gown featuring a ballerina-style tulle skirt, complemented by an oversized hair bow, a Vacheron Constantin watch, and mismatched shoes from her own namesake brand (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

“You have to have talent to design and to dress thousands of women or millions of women around the world. And you know very well, the only thing they want is to look more beautiful.” – Carolina Herrera

“Politics are private. I don’t understand people who try to convince you to join one party or another.” – Carolina Herrera

“I didn’t long to be a designer. I always liked fashion, but it was always a bit sleeping in me.” – Carolina Herrera

“In general, fashion is challenging. Everything from clothes to fragrances.” – Carolina Herrera

Ariana DeBose graced the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater in New York on October 5, 2023,, stunning in a dress by Wes Gordon for Carolina HerreraAriana DeBose graced the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at the David Koch Theater in New York on October 5, 2023,, stunning in a dress by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

“Feeling good about yourself and your life is very important. I’m a happy woman, happy with my husband, my daughters, my grandchildren. We all get along quite well, and that keeps me centered.” – Carolina Herrera

“Fashion is a dream. It’s difficult, and there are many aspects of fashion that are very difficult, but if you love it like I do, because I really have a passion, now, for fashion, it’s not easy, but nothing is easy in life.” – Carolina Herrera

“You have to deal with the fashion egos. You know, there is a lot. It shouldn’t be treated that seriously because fashion is only making dresses to make women look beautiful. We’re not inventing anything new.” – Carolina Herrera

“Work doesn’t seem to interfere with my life. I have time for everything, even time to be alone.” – Carolina Herrera

“Fashion is to please your eye. Shapes and proportions are for your intellect.” – Carolina Herrera

“Money doesn’t buy elegance. You can take an inexpensive sheath, add a pretty scarf, gray shoes, and a wonderful bag, and it will always be elegant.” – Carolina Herrera

“We always know better than anybody else what looks best on us. Even if people are complimenting you, if you think, ‘I hate what I have on,’ it’s not right.” – Carolina Herrera

“Perfection does not exist – only God is perfect.” – Carolina Herrera

“A man has to have sensibility, wit, mystery, tolerance, and strength… Romance also helps.” – Carolina Herrera

“There isn’t a book that has changed me, but I have favorites such as ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which I often re-read.” – Carolina Herrera

“Sometimes you see women that don’t realize that age is changing your style, and they don’t change.” – Carolina Herrera

“The red carpet is very important. You have to be very careful to have the right person dressed in the right way. For me, it has to be a perfect look.” – Carolina Herrera

“Age is something only in your head or a stereotype. Age means nothing when you are passionate about something.” – Carolina Herrera

“I am truly happy with what I’ve got. But if I could alter something, it would be my hands. I’ve never been satisfied with them – I would love longer fingers.” – Carolina Herrera

“I love books; my suitcases are always full of them. Books and shoes. I read when I am sad, when I am happy, when I am nervous. My favorite British author is Jane Austen, and my favorite American one is John O’Hara.” – Carolina Herrera

“My family – my husband, my daughters, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren, all of them – are the most important thing in the world to me.” – Carolina Herrera

“There’s a tendency for designers to embellish the size of their business. I never lie.” – Carolina Herrera

“I don’t get my inspiration from books or a painting. I get it from the women I meet.” – Carolina Herrera

“You feel very romantic when you’re in a ball gown. Everyone should wear one once in a while.” – Carolina Herrera

“I very seldom compromise. I am a Capricorn.” – Carolina Herrera

“You can be very feminine and be a leader. Christine Lagarde, she’s very chic and she dresses very well, and she’s a woman. And she has a lot of power.” – Carolina Herrera

“British and American women have very different styles and a different way of living.” – Carolina Herrera

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion today over what is sexy and what is vulgar. It’s horrifying. They say, ‘Oh, that girl is so sexy,’ and she turns around and the dress is four sizes too small. Or she’s wearing so much stuff, you wonder how long it took her to get ready.” – Carolina Herrera

“I am very shy. When I go to a charity ball, I don’t mind if people look at my sleeves. I mind terribly if I have to say something.” – Carolina Herrera

“I’ve had work done on my eyes in the past. However, I think there are limits. I wouldn’t ever have too much done, as it looks unnatural, and I don’t think you should do anything to your lips, as it changes the entire shape of your face.” – Carolina Herrera

“When you do something that you like, and you think you can keep doing it, you don’t think about retiring.” – Carolina Herrera

“Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound.” – Carolina Herrera

“Intuition is a strong feminine quality.” – Carolina Herrera

“It’s important to find what really suits who you are because style isn’t only what you wear, it’s what you project.” – Carolina Herrera

“Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good.” – Carolina Herrera

“I don’t like trends. They tend to make everybody look the same.” – Carolina Herrera

“You wouldn’t know it, but I’m no good at cooking. My chef does that.” – Carolina Herrera

“It’s not my aspiration to appear on a reality show. That’s the last thing I need in my life.” – Carolina Herrera

“Most people travel with a good book, but I also keep my agenda with me; I’ll flip through the pages and take a few moments to organize my life a little – I rarely get the time to do this normally.” – Carolina Herrera

“For me, fashion begins in New York.” – Carolina Herrera

“I was brought up with considerable discipline, and I was taught it wasn’t proper to display certain very private emotions in public.” – Carolina Herrera

“Thank God my hair is always the same. And I get dressed very quickly. I am not one of those people who spend three hours getting dressed. I never understood that. What do you do for the two and a half hours after the half hour it takes you to get ready?” – Carolina Herrera

“I’m not going to say that I’m perfect. I do have fashion crises.” – Carolina Herrera

“Latinas who come to the U.S. should adapt, learn English, and become a part of the community.” – Carolina Herrera

“When you’re wearing something you feel comfortable in, you move better. That’s why the most important accessory you can have is a full-length mirror.” – Carolina Herrera

“Luxury will be always around, no matter what happens in the world.” – Carolina Herrera

“I was schooled at home, then didn’t go to university because I married when I was 17. I didn’t go into work until late in my life.” – Carolina Herrera

“People get nervous accessorizing, but there is nothing wrong with adding a belt or a pair of shoes in another color.” – Carolina Herrera

“Don’t wear excessive make-up as you grow older. Young women can wear whatever make-up they want, but if you are older, you will regret it.” – Carolina Herrera

“You never expect anything when you are 20 because you think that you’ll never get older.” – Carolina Herrera

“Fashion should be fun. It shouldn’t be labeled ‘intellectual.'” – Carolina Herrera

“I rarely go into a shop on holiday because fashion and design are what I’m involved in every day. I need another world.” – Carolina Herrera

“When I was living in Los Angeles, I always booked a moisturizing milk-and-honey massage the day before flying to Spain. It was heaven – I never got dry plane skin or felt stiff from sitting in one position.” – Carolina Herrera

“We women manage to do many things at the same time. Men, no. Men do one thing at a time.” – Carolina Herrera

“I love white shirts because they feel like a security blanket. You can wear them with anything. It’s the person and the way that they wear it that makes it different. I have been designing white shirts forever, but I don’t get tired of it.” – Carolina Herrera

“Fashion is not an investment. If you wear a dress and don’t get many compliments, you won’t wear it again. It’s not like buying bonds.” – Carolina Herrera

“I prefer clothes that are simple, well-cut, but with one major extravagance. Something with the sleeves, with the skirt, but nothing too fussy, too flashy.” – Carolina Herrera

“Keep in shape: if you look good, you will feel confident.” – Carolina Herrera

Jessica Alba Stuns in Strapless Carolina Herrera Dress at 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars Party

Jessica Alba was one of the celebrities who stole the show on the red carpet at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

The 41-year-old actress stunned in a navy strapless dress by Carolina Herrera that flowed gracefully to the floor, showcasing her signature style of understated elegance.

Adding a touch of glamor to her classic outfit, Jessica wore a pair of stunning Bulgari sapphire earrings that beautifully complemented her dress.

Jessica Alba looked stunning in a navy strapless Carolina Herrera dress at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar PartyJessica Alba looked stunning in a navy strapless Carolina Herrera dress at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)

She also donned a Bulgari high jewelry sapphire lace necklace that drew attention to her neck and perfectly complemented her strapless gown.

Although it wasn’t visible on the red carpet, Jessica’s Giuseppe Zanotti navy satin Betty platform sandals perfectly matched her dress, adding a few extra inches to her already statuesque frame. She also carried a Tyler Ellis bag for the perfect finishing touch to her ensemble.

Jessica’s elegant look for the night was kept natural with a nude lip and subtle smoky eyes. Her hair was styled in soft waves, and she chose a slightly darker color to highlight her natural beauty.

Walking the red carpet with Cash Warren, her husband of almost 15 years, the actress was the epitome of elegance and sophistication. Cash, whom Jessica first met on the set of Fantastic Four, looked dapper in a classic tuxedo that perfectly complemented his wife’s stunning gown.

The actress is known for her performances in numerous blockbusters, including Honey, Never Been Kissed, and Sin City.

Jessica Alba wowed with her Bulgari jewelry at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars party, which included an exquisite Sapphire Lace necklace and Barocko Collection Meraviglia sapphire earringsJessica Alba wowed with her Bulgari jewelry at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars party, which included an exquisite Sapphire Lace necklace and Barocko Collection Meraviglia sapphire earrings (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)

She is also renowned for her performances as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four films from 20th Century Fox.

However, she eventually became a household name when she was 19 and starred in James Cameron’s Dark Angel television series, which debuted in 2000.

In a recent appearance on CNN and HBO Max’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? Jessica spoke about being “objectified” as a sex symbol in the early 2000s. She stated that she understood that being in the public spotlight meant helping to sell the product.

The actress said, “I guess I understood that I needed to help sell the product. And they sell it how they do, so I understood it as a business decision and a strategy.”

Jessica Alba, in a Carolina Herrera Resort 2023 3D floral applique silk gown, with her husband Cash Warren at the 2022 Baby2Baby GalaJessica Alba, in a Carolina Herrera Resort 2023 3D floral applique silk gown, with her husband Cash Warren at the 2022 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 12, 2022, in West Hollywood, California (Credit: DFree / Shutterstock)

Jessica added, “And so I was able to distance myself from it. But I guess, you know, you can’t change other people’s minds about what they may or may not think of you.”

She also discussed her sexuality and how she deliberately tried to exude “masculine energy” to avoid being “preyed on” by Hollywood predators.

Jessica said, “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with owning your sexuality. I just frankly was definitely not that person. I was very nervous about all of that, and I was quite uncomfortable in my own skin.”

Jessica Alba showcased her preppy style at Miu Miu's fall 2023 runway show during Paris Fashion WeekJessica Alba showcased her preppy style at Miu Miu’s fall 2023 runway show during Paris Fashion Week in an oversized black duster coat with a coordinating plaid two-piece set on March 7, 2023, in Paris, France (Credit: Abaca Press / INSTARimages)

The mom-of-three explained, “It wasn’t until I became a mom that I really started to even see myself as a woman or a sexual being or someone who owned her power and her femininity.”

She recalled, “At that time, I felt like I was very much having to put up this armor of masculinity and masculine energy so I wouldn’t, you know, be preyed on because there were a lot of predators in Hollywood from age 12 to 26.”

Jessica Alba showcased her bohemian flair in a brown and beige snake-printed trench coat with glossy black buttons at Stella McCartney's Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 fashion showJessica Alba showcased her bohemian flair in a brown and beige snake-printed trench coat with glossy black buttons at Stella McCartney’s Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2023, in Paris, France (Credit: Abaca Press / INSTARimages)

Jessica recounted that she would try to make herself unavailable to anyone with malicious intentions, saying: “I was a warrior. I put up that energy. I was really tough, man. I curse like a sailor, and I think I tried to make myself as unavailable as possible so that I wouldn’t be taken advantage of.”

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