My Secret Life: Carolina Herrera, fashion designer, 71


My parents were... very special. My mother was a very romantic figure and my father was extremely good-looking, fun and a bit distant.

The house I grew up in... I always remember my childhood house with happy memories. There was a beautiful garden, and outside my bedroom window was a jasmine vine which would open in the evenings, giving off a divine scent.

When I was a child I wanted to be... a dog or a horse, depending on the day.

If I could change one thing about myself... it would be my impatience.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... cleaning. Whatever I spot, I clean: carpets, cushions. All of it; I love cleaning. You wouldn't know it but I'm no good at... cooking. My chef does that.

At night I dream of... At night I sleep, and I dream during the day. I have lots of fantasies in my mind. I think people need room for that.

What I see when I look in the mirror... is someone I know very well. I rather like her.

My favourite item of clothing... is always a very glamorous evening gown. The colour depends on the occasion. I rarely wear red but I had one in red that I kept coming back to because I had lots of fun every time I wore it.

I wish I'd never worn... mourning attire at the funerals of people I've loved.

It's not fashionable but I like... eating milk chocolate.

I drive... I always go for Mercedes Benz. And I ride horses and have done since I was a young girl. When I was 20 I had the most fantastic Argentinian horse who was a very good jumper. I loved her.

My house is... in New York. It's a very cosy, very personal house.

My favourite building... Either the magnificent St Paul's, or the grandiose Castle Howard – the perfect house for England, no?

My favourite work of art... The first painting that I realised I liked was 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' by Hieronymus Bosch, when I was six years old, at the Prado in Madrid. I still find myself returning there every time I'm in the city.

A book that changed me... There isn't a book that has changed me, but I have favourites such as 'Pride and Prejudice' which I often re-read.

Movie heaven... I like old ones like 'Death in Venice' and new ones. Some films, like that 'Avatar', need to be seen on a big screen.

The last album I bought/downloaded... The other day I ordered all Beethoven's symphonies and an album by Beyoncé from the internet.

My secret crush... I won't tell you – because then it wouldn't be a secret.

My greatest regret... is not being an opera singer like Maria Callas.

My real-life villain... Something I hate is cruelty to children or to animals.

The person who really makes me laugh... is my husband. You will never forget a person who has a great sense of humour.

The last time I cried... last week, watching 'Sophie's Choice' on the television: it's a terrible story about a woman leaving her children behind.

My five-year plan... business-wise, it's to open shops everywhere in the world. Personally, I don't know where I want to be. You have to live life as it comes; anything could happen between now and then.

What's the point? The point of life is living it.

My life in six words... It has been a wonderful life.

A life in brief

Carolina Herrera was born in 1939 in Venezuela. Best known in the UK for her line of perfumes, she founded her company in 1980 and moved to New York in 1981 where she dressed Jackie Onassis for the last 12 years of her life. She has four children by two partners and lives in New York with her second husband, Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, Marqués de Torre Casa. Carolina Herrera's CH lifestyle store is at 120 Mount Street, London W1 (020-3441 0965)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower