NEW YORK — The woman in Carolina Herrera's new advertising campaign appears to embody the younger customer the designer has wooed in recent seasons. Of course, it helps that she is Herrera's daughter and the two share the same name.
Strong, intercontinental and chic, the younger Herrera lives in Spain with her husband and two children. She agreed to do double duty as the leading role in spring ads for Carolina Herrera New York and Carolina Herrera Eyewear. But her photo shoot with Mario Sorrenti was not a sure thing. She mulled over the prospect for a day or so, after her mother and Mario Grauso, president of Puig Fashion Group, made the request.
"I definitely didn't suggest it. I don't particularly love to have my picture taken," the younger Herrera said, adding that some hesitation was due to her uncertainty about carrying the campaign. "I thought about it for a day and then I thought, ‘He's a great photographer. Why not?'"
The decision was not as nepotistic as it might seem. Herrera has worked as a consultant for the brand's fragrance since 1997 and became more actively involved with the company with the launch of the lifestyle brand. As the ambassador of the Herrera House of Fragrances and the Carolina Herrera line, she sat in the front row at her mother's show Monday.
As for why now is the time for a more public role for the younger Herrera, Grauso said, "I feel she embodies the spirit of the house." The campaign breaks in magazines next month and will continue through the fall in regional print media, billboards and online.
Like the spring collection, the campaign is aimed at women who bring their own style to their wardrobe by choosing classic and timeless pieces. Herrera said she helped select the four dresses she wore for the campaign, with her favorite being a short white dress. Bob Recine and Gucci Westman helped finesse Herrera's image with hair and makeup, respectively.
"The ads look elegant, but timeless, beautiful and modern," the designer's daughter said. "They're sophisticated but not stuffy. They convey the spirit of the collection. It could look good today or also in four years. Nothing about it is trendy or gimmicky."And the designer let her daughter and the crew get on with the shoot. The mother only arrived at Pier 59 once the final shot had been taken to drop off her daughter's children, two-year-old Olympia and seven-month-old Miguel. "She didn't want to see anything. She wanted it to be a surprise," the younger Herrera said.
This marks the second time she has appeared in ads for her mother's company — her debut was as a 15-year-old in 1991 in a fragrance campaign. Needless to say, the more recent shoot was easier. "I'm more secure and older. The last one was done in Europe and this was in New York," she said.
While she may appear in another campaign for her namesake, Herrera's more recent foray into modeling was not a crowning moment. "It's not as though I thought, ‘Now this is what I want to do," she said with a laugh.
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