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Carolina Herrera (born January 8, 1939) is a Venezuelan-American fashion designer known for “exceptional personal style”, and dressing First Ladies from Jacqueline Onassis to Michelle Obama. The New York Times cited her designs as "elegant and worldly without ever being fussy". Born María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño on January 8, 1939, in Caracas, Venezuela, to Guillermo Pacanins Acevedo, an air force officer and former governor of Caracas, and María Cristina Niño Passios. Her socialite grandmother introduced her to the world of fashion, taking young Carolina to shows by Balenciaga and buying her outfits at Lanvin and Dior. She has said "My eye was accustomed to see pretty things". Frequently associating with Mick and Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol, at Studio 54, she became well known for her dramatic style. She first appeared on the International Best Dressed List in 1972, then was elected to its Hall of Fame in 1980. That year, her friend Diana Vreeland, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue suggested that Carolina design a clothing line. She did so, having samples made in Caracas, and showed them in a friend’s apartment in New York. A well known Park Avenue boutique, Martha’s, agreed to showcase her clothing in their prominent windows. Upon this initial success, she returned to Caracas and raised capital to fund a more formal launch. Her first runway show in 1980 included future supermodel Iman.

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