As per usual, Carolina Herrera was the picture of poise and elegance at the grand opening of her CH Carolina Herrera boutique at Bal Harbour Shops. The designer wore a chic black and white pleated skirt (from the CH Carolina spring collection) with a black button-down shirt to the opening, where guests perused the diffusion line's apparel and accessories for women, men, and children. With boutiques in Boca Raton and Coral Gables, the Bal Harbour shop marks the Venezuelan designer’s third CH Carolina Herrera foray into the Florida market. We sat down with the lady of the hour to chat about her proclivity for ball gowns with pockets, words of wisdom that she lives by, and her most prized fashion possession.
Your fall 2012 collection showed many gowns with pockets. Is that a personal favorite design touch of yours?
CAROLINA HERRERA: I love [pockets]. They are very useful. I usually do pockets in my dresses because when I go out I only carry my lipstick, and I always place it in there.
You’ve been designing under your label for 31 years. As a designer, and a brand, what is the key to longevity?
CH: I’ve been very consistent in the style I wanted to show, which is sophisticated and elegant. My clothes are for the women of today: An independent woman who isn’t afraid of being glamorous, chic, and elegant—and who wants to be admired by both men and women.
What is your most prized fashion possession?
CH: There are so many. I don’t know any woman who has only one. You go out to buy a pair of shoes and then you see an evening gown and you forget about the shoes. You don’t need it, but it looks beautiful hanging in [your] closet.
What about essentials? What should every woman stock in her closet?
CH: I think every woman should own a dress, a pencil skirt and a gown. It’s important to dress for your age and figure.
Designers are embracing social media and even live-streaming their shows in order to give the public instant access to their latest work. What is your take on fashion's digital renaissance?
CH: I think it’s fabulous. At this moment, fashion is so exciting because of the publicity, the internet, and the fact that people can sit in their houses and see the shows.
What is your mantra?
CH: Always leave room for fantasy.