Hernando Herrera - The art of the catwalk
Awarded with the gold thimble in Madrid for his career, he has received great royal titles, such as the Prince of Asturias, as well as honourable medals in Ukraine, Russia and Poland for his great contribution to the world of fashion.
There is no fashion event where you do not hear his name. Hernando Herrera is one of the most iconic international personalities in the modelling world. Called the guru of the catwalks for his perfectionism in steps and turns, he created and has been directing Hernando Herrera International School of Models since 1998, making it one of the most important and prestigious model training schools in the world.
Naturally, Hernando is a man with a gift for art. Not only does he prepare, train and educate the best models, he is also an excellent singer and dancer.
From a young age, Herrera has trusted his instincts. Singing and dancing were his thing, and later on modelling. He has studied singing for ten years and today, he is one of the great international imitations of Michael Jackson. However, life took him another way. Although his musical talents remain intact on a personal level, his professional life took him through the world of models and catwalks. His modelling career began after a casting of more than 5,000 people, finishing in second place and entering the world of advertising.
His first destination was Ecuador, where he was training as a model, presenter and artist on stage. Soon after, his career as a presenter began.
We can say that Herrera’s life was taking him to his own destiny. The opportunities arose thanks to many people who were able to see and appreciate his talented energy.
“I learnt to meet people and always listen, but never to lose my style.”
Betting on his dreams, and without any family support at the time, Herrera decided to leave his psychology studies to pursue the path life had led him to.
Thanks to a three-month visa, he arrived in Miami to study at a modelling agency. It was a very difficult time for him, dealing with several jobs to pay for his studies, including one as a stripper. But it was not until he returned to Europe thanks to a girlfriend’s grandmother (who had been a model of the great Coco Chanel), that he started to develop his tools as a model and future master of the catwalks.
Herrera began to travel, and thanks to his exotic style and marked features, his career as a model began to successfully lead him to the Pierre Cardin brand and to meeting big stars such as Giorgio Armani or Naomi Campbell.
“To teach how to be a good model, you must be a teacher rich in patience. With me, this path of Haute Couture models ends. Today, no agency or school is dedicated to training models like I do, from trust and security, [they] all do it from the commercial side."
Jordi Ribas, director of Cataluyn’s television channel TV3 advised him to open a men’s modelling school. But women’s attention made him walk like them. He travelled to Miami so that her previous art teacher could teach him everything he had to know to walk as a woman.
Between ballet classes and exercises to increase elasticity, Herrera began to form his own way of parading. Using old school techniques, watching Dior shows from the 60s, he created a technique similar to the old days, but with a touch of modern Haute Couture.
“A teacher who teaches also learns. The best medal I have is to see my students’ triumph. All the reflection of what I teach day by day. And seeing them succeed is what keeps me teaching.”
Herrera likes to teach so much, that he has taken charge of his own school and has started teaching it to the students. He can perfectly recognize a model who has learned from him instead of an agency.
In 2008, he was part of the Supermodel program with Judith Masco, who helped him give birth to the school and his training.
It welcomed students from all over the world: Russia, Ukraine, Italy and Mexico.
From there, he began to travel to give classes and parades in various countries in the world.
Herrera is and will remain an icon for professional models. Dedication, perseverance, trust and values are the most important secrets to lead one of the most prestigious modelling schools in Europe.