Carolina Herrera: Social Media Influencers Have No Style

Lead Photo: Designer Carolina Herrera walks the runway for the Carolina Herrera collection during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 13, 2017 in New York City. Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Designer Carolina Herrera walks the runway for the Carolina Herrera collection during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 13, 2017 in New York City. Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
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Iconic Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera has had her hand in the fashion industry since the 1960s, dovetailing into her own high-end eponymous line in the ‘80s. Although she stepped down as lead designer in 2018, she now continues to represent the label as global brand ambassador. Hence, her recent conversation with fashion businesswoman Carmen Busquets at the Latin American Fashion Summit. During the discussion, the two ladies candidly spoke about how runway shows have evolved and the importance (or lack thereof) of influencers.

When Busquets, who is also Venezuelan, asked the 80-year-old designer her opinion on social media influencers, Herrera responded with a hearty, “That’s what I wanted to ask you!”

She continued, according to La Vanguardia: “Influencers appear to be very important. I don’t understand it much,” Herrera said. “They aren’t fashion’s style. They’re money’s style.”

Herrera describes style as “something each person holds inside … not what you have on. It’s much more than that.”

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It was a complete honor to have a conversation with @carolinaherrera on stage together with a cafecito of Juan Vadez @cafedecombia. I want to Thank Cartagena de Indias and Teatro Adolfo Mejia for receiving us and for your generous hospitality. There are no words that can describe the amount of emotion, inspiration and hope this iconic Venezuelan woman @carolinaherrera gives not only to Venezuelans but to all Latin Americans that filled the three floors of this gorgeous theater in Cartagena and the 700 hundred Venezuelan students that live-streamed our conversation. Since I was living in Venezuela, from afar, I admired Carolina and was always fascinated by her elegant style and the way she carries herself in such coherent way to her aesthetic. She achieves this so effortlessly which made her 1981 NY debut a total success. Over time, her style has evolved into an international iconic brand and I have noticed how other Venezuelan and international women gravitate towards her and how they wanted a slice of her style. I would also like to thank iconic women like Carolina who design for women, for helping me realize that if you want to succeed as a female international fashion designer, you need to truly be loyal to your own style and wear it always in order to have a loyal clientele. I’m always so grateful for the international success of Carolina Herrera not only as Venezuelan but also as Latina for opening the road to lots of women like me. When I met her later on in life, I realized not only is she a creative talent but a very smart businesswoman with a great witty sense of humor. But, one thing you must know about Carolina, is that she wears her heart on her sleeve and has no filter to tell her opinion about everything she thinks and feels. She has been a public figure of fearless activism voicing out the need for international aids to have a free Venezuela. As a Latino woman myself, I’m grateful for her international success as she has set the bar high for us all. Thank you, Carolina, for inspiring me and trusting me to come to Cartagena and to be part of @latinamericanfashionsummit as the young founders have made me proud photo📸 @manuelamg.

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Her opinion on the matter was solidified sometime this year at an unidentified fashion show. Recalling the 10 a.m. pasarela, Herrera joked about a “row of girls” who were dressed in evening gowns.

“They don’t have their own style. They wear what they’re given,” she said, as the live audience in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia agreed.

Their applause and cheers further encouraged Herrera, who closed her response with advice for designers.

“Just because an influencer likes it and a few people see it on [social media] doesn’t mean you have great success. You have to see [how many] normal women are buying it,” she asserted.

All in all, the Best Dressed Hall of Fame inductee said she misses the ‘80s, which she referred to as a simpler, less spectacle-oriented and more garment-focused time.

“Things are very different nowadays,” she said. “Everything changes.”