Even before launching her own line in 1981, Carolina Herrera (b. 1939) had established a reputation for elegance and personal style. As an adolescent, she sometimes accompanied her grandmother on haute couture buying trips to Paris. When at home in Caracas, Venezuela, Herrera designed her own clothing, which was then brought to life by a skilled seamstress. Herrera's ability to combine purchased garments with those she designed herself earned her multiple nominations to the International Best Dressed list, along with compliments from friends and acquaintances. In 1980, Herrera was interested in launching a line of textile designs, but a meeting with Diana Vreeland convinced her to go into fashion. Herrera already had numerous friends in the fashion industry, and with the help of Bill Blass, Mary McFadden, model Iman and other notables, in 1981 she presented her first collection at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.