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Heir Apparent

Profiles
Carolina Herrera de Báez.

Photos by Alexi Lubomirski

Carolina Herrera de Báez studied to be a scientist, has made jewelry, operated a boutique, worked as a filmmaker and developed fragrances for her mother’s namesake company. This Renaissance woman draws from these experiences, and more, as creative advisor for CH Carolina Herrera.

“CH Carolina Herrera is the lifestyle line of Carolina Herrera,” she explains. “It is for a woman who has her own sense of style...a woman who loves fashion but is not a fashion victim. It is modern and easy to wear.”

Coming from a woman who lives in Madrid, travels to her family’s farm in Cáceres on the weekends, makes at least six trips annually to work in New York and still manages to spend time with her three small children and former bullfighter husband, Miguel “El Litri” Báez, it sounds as though she is the CH Carolina Herrera target market.

And her go-to pieces echo that belief. “They look good with anything from jeans to mini shorts to an evening skirt,” she says of the pants, little black dresses and CH silk shirts that makeup her wardrobe.

“I wear what feels good and looks good. I always dress according to the occasion. I think women are most beautiful when they exude confidence.” Her favorite piece in her wardrobe—a plaid Carolina Herrera New York cape—is not trendy and is, in fact, eight years old. “I love it more and more every year.”

De Báez’s experience and down-to-earth attitude shine through with her first foray into design for CH Carolina Herrera, making its debut this spring. Taking one of the collection’s most popular bags—a tote-like bag called the Matryoshka—and rethinking it, de Báez created the Mini Matryoshka capsule collection.

“My mother has always carried small bags and adhered to the notion that in doing so, it enables you to carry only what is essential—a wallet, your phone, a lipstick and your keys,” she explains. “Drawing on my mother’s small purse philosophy, I wanted to inject a bit of whimsy into these bags...to design a bag full of personality that could serve as both a day and evening accessory.”

The resulting bold and playfully colored bags were so alluring to the elder Herrera that she unveiled them at her spring 2012 runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. “It was such an exciting moment for me!” de Báez adds. Her worldly influence is also showcased at the new CH Carolina Herrera at the Bal Harbour Shops, which combines the old with the new. Classical furniture pieces from the 18th and 19th Century complement the Art Deco elements creating a rich, multilayered environment. Carrying the complete CH line—including women’s, men’s, accessories and children’s wear—this shop was long anticipated. “We have always wanted to open a CH Carolina Herrera store in Bal Harbour and have just been waiting for the right moment,” de Báez says.

“My mother has always carried small bags and adhered to the notion that in doing so, it enables you to carry only what is essential—a wallet, your phone, a lipstick and your keys.”

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