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Carolina Herrera’s hands-on approach to design

Carolina Herrera’s hands-on approach to design

Carolina Herrera continues to take a hands-on approach to design and spends a lot of time in her brand’s atelier.

The Venezuelan fashion designer is lauded as one of the most elegant women in the industry, and has become famous for her celebrity clientele which includes the likes of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift and Renee Zellweger.

With her classic designs still heavily in demand, the 77-year-old claims that she has no plans to slow down anytime soon and goes into her New York office every day to work on various projects and oversee the manufacturing of couture garments.

“I have my atelier next to the office, which is the most amazing thing, because I don’t have to send anything to be made outside New York,” she told “If I want to change something, it can be done in-house, and watching my team gives me a lot of inspiration too. If the design doesn’t work, we just make another.”

When she’s not at fittings or doing interviews, Herrera will work on the collections or spend time with her four daughters Mercedes, Ana Luisa, Carolina, and Patricia and their own children. While juggling family life with work is challenging at times, Herrera advises young women that anything is possible as long as a healthy balance is struck.

“Whenever young women tell me they cannot have children because then they cannot go to work, I say yes you can, if you organise yourself very well,” she explained, adding that she never discusses work when she’s with her family.

Celebrating 35 years in the business, the Savannah College of Art and Design is hosting a retrospective of Herrera’s designs through September (16). The exhibition, titled Refined Irreverence, features her signature white shirt and other red carpet gowns, along with other couture pieces which reflect the sense of timelessness intrinsic to Herrera’s ethos.

“I always say I don’t work in the fashion business,” she added. “I work in the beauty business, because I want the women who wear Herrera to feel beautiful.”

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