We’re excited to introduce you to Fashion Designer and PenFed member Carolina Hernandez! The Navy Reservist and Los Angeles resident created Veteran Couture. Carolina designs and sews every item and accessory in her collection by herself, so each dress is one of a kind, just like she is!
My name is Carolina Hernandez and I’m a U.S. Navy Veteran.
I’m actually still serving in the Navy Reserves as a chief, and I’m the CEO and founder of Veteran Couture. During my deployments I did a little traveling overseas.
Around other cultures, experiencing their traditions, their colorful garments, and all that to me was so inspiring.
I’m the third generation of seamstresses in my family. So it was kind of like a gift passed down from generation to generation.
I wanted to create my own styles, my own designs, and this is the reason why I’m like, you know what? I want my baby to grow and to evolve.
So I collected used uniforms, refurbished uniforms, and then I deconstruct them and I make the designs that I made.
Even Veterans from Vietnam, when they see my designs, are like, “Oh, my God. Which branch is this one? What era is that one?” They get so, it’s like a history lesson in just the garments.
It’s me, myself and I making everything and doing everything I think it’s more authentic because I get to feel the fabrics.
Like when I go to the fabric store, I’m literally touching them and just feeling them and I’m like, what can I make with this?
That’s why it’s one of a kind, because you won’t find another dress like mine anywhere.
My message is that I’m here to give and I want my life to be meaningful. So in any way I can be a resource to other organizations, whether it’s collaborating, teaming up, bringing my models.
Like, I’m always happy to do it because I feel like that’s what we need in our community and that’s what makes us so strong together.