Carolina Herrera and her signature, impeccable coif have headed up her eponymous fashion house for 37 years, but now, the New York-based designer is looking to begin a new chapter. On Monday, The New York Times reported that Carolina Herrera, the woman, will be stepping down from Carolina Herrera, the brand, following Monday's New York Fashion Week runway show.
Per Vanessa Friedman, Herrera will remain with the company as Global Brand Ambassador, a title she herself chose, while Wes Gordon, the 31-year-old design wunderkind who has spent nearly a year behind-the-scenes as her creative consultant, will take over design as creative director.
In a lengthy interview with Friedman, Herrera was adamant that she's not retiring, just simply moving forward, writing Friedman: "She is going to leverage her living legend status — what Emilie Rubinfeld, the president of the brand, calls 'the Carolina effect' — to the benefit of her company."
To be sure, Herrera has long been among the American design industry's most prominent, now-iconic players, which have also included the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg. While de la Renta appointed Peter Copping as his successor prior to his death, von Furstenberg named Jonathan Saunders as her first chief creative officer in 2016, followed by Nathan Jenden in January. As for Herrera's replacement, Gordon is more than a talented choice: Soon after graduating from Central St. Martins in 2009, Gordon launched his own self-named womenswear line which was carried at such department stores as Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Kirna Zabête. Gordon shuttered his own brand prior to coming on board with Herrera.
We look forward to seeing Herrera's final collection in a matter of days, as well as everything Gordon has in store for one of the country's greatest fashion labels.
UPDATE, Friday, Feb. 9, 9:10 a.m.: In a release from the company, Herrera further elaborated on her transition and Gordon's new role, which will see him presenting his first collection as creative director for Resort 2019:
"I am thrilled with the evolution of the company over the past 37 years... Our success has been tremendous and a true dream. There is still so much opportunity and I look forward to continuing to represent this House and our projects all around the world. I am so pleased Wes is now part of the Herrera House — he's the right one for this position to further build on our great momentum."