PaperCity Magazine

September 2019- Dallas

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Page 105 of 131

104 So many of us met you years ago when you came to Dallas for an event with Neiman Marcus for your namesake line. What a moment to come back for Carolina Herrera. I always love going to Dallas. It's probably one of my favorite cities in the country. I grew up in Atlanta, so in a lot of ways Dallas feels very similar. And you're right: My fashion career began with my own collection. It was a very small brand, but I was lucky to work with some amazing stores and, through them, amazing women. One of them was, of course, Neiman Marcus. Dallas is one of the few cities where the fashion industry still really lives and thrives. I forgot that you were from Atlanta. Do you consider yourself Southern? I'm a total mutt. I was born in Chicago, and then I lived in Minneapolis for a few years, and then it was Atlanta. I really grew up in Atlanta. So in a lot of ways, I think of myself as kind of Southern. But then I went to school in London, and now I live in New York. I'm a bit of a nomad. Do you think of yourself as a Texan? No! I always say I have one foot in and one foot out. I think that's the best way to be. Today's world is a fast roundabout of designers, flipping from one fashion house to the next. But I felt something very different when I read the news that you were going to Carolina Herrera. It felt genuine. All of the aesthetic decisions that are right for Herrera are also my personal preferences. I don't have to come to work and pretend to be something that I'm not. Mrs. Herrera and I share a lot of similar sensibilities, and I'm lucky to be at a place where my favorite things also happen to be right for the house. It's ageless. Some of the most stylish young women I know are the ones who have very stylish mothers and grandmothers — and they raid their closets. This is a house that's not about overthinking. This is a house that's about beauty, fun, and laughter. If we're overthinking, it doesn't work. We're not a super-intellectual, serious brand. It's about a dress that makes you feel fabulous. Our woman is a type. It's not an age; it's not a demographic. Ours is a confident woman who is the life of the party — the center of attention. She loves life and wants to have a good time — and she doesn't want to dress like everyone else in the world. When everyone's in a black coat, she's in hot pink. It's a confident, fearless person. That is really who we're dressing. Texas women are exactly what you just said. Everyone is in a black coat, and Texas is wearing hot pink. Mrs. Herrera has always stood for elegance, but now I think we have an opportunity to ask: What does elegance mean now? How can we reinvent and be the new version of that? Elegance is not about being stiff and being formal. Elegance can also be casual and witty and fun — and that resonates so much more with today's world and society. Some of the most elegant images I can think of are Slim Aarons' photographs. Women and men in leisure. It's people living authentically — not pretending. That's cool. That's elegant. That's chic. Being something you're not and trying to blend in, that's not elegant. That's boring. FULL DISCLOSURE: I HAVE HAD A BIT OF A CRUSH ON WES GORDON SINCE WE FIRST MET NEARLY A DECADE AGO. AND SO, IN ANTICIPATION OF HIS TRIP TO DALLAS THIS MONTH TO SERVE AS FEATURED DESIGNER FOR THE CRYSTAL CHARITY BALL'S TEN BEST DRESSED WOMEN OF DALLAS FASHION SHOW AND LUNCHEON, I WAS QUICK TO SCHEDULE A CALL WITH CAROLINA HERRERA'S BRIGHT YOUNG CREATIVE DIRECTOR. HERE, SOUND BITES FROM OUR CHAT. BY CHRISTINA GEYER WES GORDON 15 MINUTES WITH Wes Gordon, creative director, Carolina Herrera

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