Carolina Herrera

The Venezuelan-born designer founded the company that bears her name in 1981 and has become a celeb go-to for those who crave a more ladylike touch from their labels.

Born into an extremely wealthy family in Caracas, Herrera didn't need to worry about the trifling matter of a day job. She attended her first couture show at the age of 13 and spent years traveling to fashion shows to order high-end couture. It wasn't until the age of 40, after four kids and countless appearances on Vogue's best-dressed list, that Herrera turned to design herself. Exactly one year after finishing her first collection, Herrera moved her family to New York. Herrera is also the mastermind behind the style icon that was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, having spent more than a decade as the former first lady's personal stylist. She's since introduced a diffusion collection and opened stores throughout the world. Known for her elegant, minimalist designs, Herrera typically avoids both excess and trendiness. Largely a success among critics-they gave her the CFDA Women's Designer of the Year honor in 2004-Times' critic Cathy Horyn was famously banned from Herrera's shows after calling the fall '06 collection "remarkably irrelevant." The designer's temper eventually cooled, however, and she lifted the ban in time for February '08 Fashion Week, natch.

Herrera has been married twice. Her second husband is Reinaldo Herrera, a
contributing editor at Vanity Fair. They have two daughters together. Previously, she was married to Guillermo Behrens Tello, with whom she also has two daughters. [Image via Getty]