Venezuelan-born aristocrat Carolina Herrera has long been lauded by legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland and others for her own personal style. Carolina's longtime uniform? Chic, crisp white blouses and black trousers with impeccable tailoring. It was no surprise, then, when Herrera created her first fashion collection in 1980. Her sleek, elegant clothes are favorites with Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Renée Zellweger, and Herrera was not only a chum of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, but also one of her favorite designers. Interestingly, Herrera—whose bridal creations are particularly lovely—has been tapped to create the wedding dress that Kristen Stewart will wear as Bella Swan in the penultimate “Twilight” film.
In 2008, Carolina Herrera launched a diffusion, “lifestyle” brand called CH Carolina Herrera that produces sophisticated handbags and other accessories. Many of the bags are immediately identifiable, thanks in large part to the designer’s initials—sometimes called a “tattoo”—embossed in the leather. The company is dedicated to expanding the CH Carolina Herrera brand (as opposed to the designer’s haute couture line) and Herrera’s designs—particularly her handbags—are particularly popular in Spain, where she has some 20 boutiques.
The handbags are crafted in Spain using ultra-soft leather that’s so buttery you won’t be able to resist touching it—all the more reason to get your own bag! Herrera’s “Andy” bag is perhaps her most iconic. She created it in homage to Andy Warhol and yes, the artist did indeed do one of his famous silkscreen portraits of the patrician-looking Herrera, who used to hang out with him at The Factory. You’ll be lucky indeed if you’re able to score one of the special series of “Andy” bags that CH Carolina Herrera issued in poppy, Warhol colors. If not, you’ll have to settle for one of 25 colors of calfskin—orange, fuchsia, turquoise, and purple are favorites—with or without the leather embossed with the signature CH ”tattoo” initials.
It can be difficult to find a retailer that carries Carolina Herrera handbags; Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue all carry various items from her clothing line but not yet her bag collection. That said, you can shop at one of her boutiques if you’re lucky enough to live in Houston, Las Vegas, Manhattan, Manhasset, N.Y., or Coral Gables, Fla. Internationally, there are also three stores in Mexico City and Cancun, and well as nearly 25 in Dubai, London, and throughout Spain.