Who is Carolina Herrera and why is she so important? Carolina was born into the lap of Venezuelan luxury in 1939. She was destined to live a rich, traditional Latin American aristocratic life following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who regularly traveled to Paris to have their clothes made at the great design houses of Balenciaga and Lanvin. In her thirties, Herrera and her jet-setting husband moved to New York and she began appearing on International Best Dressed Lists. Nearing 40, she considered trying some sort of fashion-related business venture and thought about fabric design, although she knew more about being a socialite than she did about sewing.
Herrera's business started small, with just a dozen employees, but soon grew rapidly. The socialites in her inner circle, women like cosmetics tycoon Estee Lauder and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, became her devoted clients. Her minimalist vision rocked the entire bridal industry in 1986 when she designed Caroline Kennedy’s $40,000 pearl-colored silk crepe floor-length gown, the most copied wedding dress in North America.