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This season, Carolina Herrera joined the myriad brands taking their pre-collections on the road with its first-ever destination show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The location was chosen to enhance the Latin American roots of the brand — it was founded by the Venezuelan designer in New York in 1981, and has been under the creative direction of Wes Gordon, an American, since 2018. It also reinforced the synergy between the ready-to-wear and the brand’s thriving beauty and fragrance business, which are all owned by the Spanish conglomerate Puig. That the show was nearly a washout on Thursday night managed not to dampen the mood.
“There’s a lot of amazing destinations for us to explore for the brand — and perhaps there are others on the horizon,” says Emilie Rubinfeld, president of Carolina Herrera. “But [the idea of] Brazil came together quickly; it’s a very important market for our fragrance business. And then the beautiful nature, the culture, the spirit; it just really lends itself to a Carolina Herrera project.” A week of events culminating in the show included celebrations for the launch of a new Carolina Herrera perfume, Good Girl Blush.
Building global brand awareness was also part of the show’s purpose, Rubinfeld says. “Carolina Herrera fashion is a New York-based business — and we’re incredibly proud of that, but we’re a global brand, and we touch a global consumer.” When New York brands have taken their shows abroad, it has been to Paris, often as a statement of their standing within and to the fashion industry itself. While other luxury houses including Versace, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and Chanel have all hosted destination shows this resort season, for Carolina Herrera, the goal was to meet customers where they are. “For an American fashion house to come on the world stage and say, we’re going to do a destination show — it’s great for Herrera, but it’s great for American fashion,” she explains.