Behind Wes Gordon’s revolutionary vision for Carolina Herrera

Wes Gordon just wants to make happy clothes, and that's exactly what he's been doing since his appointment as Carolina Herrera's creative director. Photo: Shutterstock
Updated 20 November 2019

Behind Wes Gordon’s revolutionary vision for Carolina Herrera

  • Since his appointment as creative director, Wes Gordon has managed to seamlessly incorporate his own joyful flair into the fashion house
  • His ability to maintain the house’s old world glamour in addition to his revolutionary and exuberant vision has appealed to a new generation of clients

DUBAI: Wes Gordon just wants to make happy clothes. And the Atlanta-born designer, who was handpicked to be Carolina Herrera's successor after she announced her retirement in February 2018, has done just that since his appointment as the New York-based label’s creative director. You don’t have to look further than the brand’s Spring 2020 collection, showcased at the bottom of Manhattan Island inside a glass bubble lined with plush, white carpet that was inspired by the rare botanical phenomenon, super bloom.

“Carolina Herrera is a brand about beauty,” declares the designer. “No one knows what tomorrow is going to be like. We just know today, and the things that we’re able to control ourselves, I feel like it’s our job to make them beautiful,” The 33-year-old told Arab News.

Indeed, in today’s current political climate, there’s never been more reason to inject joie de vivre back into fashion. “There’s a lot of dark and uncertainty right now,” muses Gordon. “And you can’t fight dark with dark.”


A model walks the runway at the Carolina Herrera Ready-to-Wear Spring 2020 show. Photo: Getty

Carolina Herrera Ready-to-Wear Spring 2020 show. Photo: Getty

During his year-long tenure — He made his debut last September with an upbeat Spring 2019 collection, after running his own eponymous label for several years in addition to serving as Herrera’s right-hand since 2016 — the Central St. Martin’s graduate has churned out three joyful and upbeat ready-to-wear collections built on the foundation of vibrant hues and that serve as a refreshing departure from the sea of blacks and greys that have dominated the runways for the past few seasons.  

“I love color,” shares Gordon. “Bold, vivacious, saturated colors — nothing grey or sad. So the first thing I do before I start designing a collection, is think really hard about colors.

“My biggest takeaway from the role is that something beautiful will always be successful. When you’re able to create something that’s just gorgeous, it will always do well.”

However, helming Carolina Herrera is no small feat. As one of the biggest fashion brands in the world, Gordon recognizes that his stint as a consultant at the label eased his transition since he was already familiar with the company.

Since his appointment, Gordon has managed to seamlessly incorporate his own joyful flair into the fashion house founded 39 years ago, without straying from the brand’s DNA or alienating its existing clientele.

While the designer does admit that it is virtually impossible for there to not be a change — “I’m not Mrs. Herrera,” he states — he does revel in the fact that though his designs are unique, clients are still able to look at them and say, “that still feels Herrera.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Headed to @stephenathome

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on

His ability to maintain the house’s old world glamour in addition to his revolutionary and exuberant vision has appealed to a new generation of clients, which include everyone from “Euphoria” actress Zendaya to American screenwriter Lena Waithe, whom he dressed for the 2018 Met Gala.

As for the woman he designs for? “She’s fabulous and fantastic. She’s the best dressed and most fun woman in any room.  If every woman in the street is wearing grey, she is wearing hot pink. She dresses for herself and treats every moment like a celebration,” he notes. Very much like Carolina Herrera herself.


Top UK band Jamiroquai lauds ‘magical’ concert venue for Saudi fest performance

Updated 24 January 2020

Top UK band Jamiroquai lauds ‘magical’ concert venue for Saudi fest performance

  • Jay Kay: “We were delighted to be invited to this ancient and unique city and are eager to learn more about its culture and history”
  • During their career, Jamiroquai have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide

ALULA: The lead singer of world-famous band Jamiroquai has said he “can’t wait” to perform at AlUla’s “magical” concert venue this weekend.

The award-winning English funk and acid jazz group will be taking to the stage at the Maraya Concert Hall during the second Winter at Tantora festival.

Singer-songwriter and the band’s lead vocalist, Jay Kay, said: “We were delighted to be invited to this ancient and unique city and are eager to learn more about its culture and history.

“We also can’t wait to see how our funky sounds work in what looks like a truly one-of-a-kind venue, the magical, mirrored Maraya Concert Hall. It is a privilege to be able to play around the world and look forward to bringing the party to AlUla.”

The hall is the largest mirror-constructed theater in the world, can hold 500 people, and is fitted with a high-quality sound system. The event, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla, is being held in the city to showcase its unique location, scenic landscapes, history and culture.

Jamiroquai, from London, will perform a selection of their greatest hits which helped define music in the 1990s and beyond.

Fronted by Kay, the group was formed in 1992, and is best known for hits including “Canned Heat,” “Virtual Insanity,” which won video of the year at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, and “Deeper Underground,” which topped the charts in the UK. All eight of their albums made it into the British top 10 charts with three reaching the No. 1 spot.  

During their career, Jamiroquai have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide. Their third album, “Traveling Without Moving” (1996), was named in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling funk album in history.

The band also won the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding song collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, in addition to a Grammy, two Billboard Music Awards, and 16 nominations for The BRIT Awards. The Winter at Tantora festival includes many other attractions including local markets, a winter garden, farms and the Old Town of AlUla.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the festival is presenting a range of activities merging Eastern and Western culture, embodying AlUla’s heritage as a meeting point for different civilizations from around the world.

The event takes place every weekend until March 7, and visitors will get the chance to tour the historic heritage sites before they close to the public until October this year. Musical and artistic performances by some of the most respected Arab and international artists will also be staged.