VERA WANG A BALANCE OF MODERN DESIGN AND TRADITIONAL ELEGANCE
Born June 27, 1949 in New York City, as daughter of affluent Chinese immigrants, Wang spent her pampered childhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She attended the elite Chapin School and the School of American Ballet, before enrolling at Sarah Lawrence College to study art history.
A talented figure skater, Wang competed professionally throughout her teens but abandoned her skating career upon graduating from college and began working for Vogue magazine as Senior Fashion Editor. She held that position for 15 years prior to working for Ralph Lauren as design director, which started in 1987.
Her marriage in 1989, marked a new era in Wang’s life. Frustrated with the slim selection of existing bridal wear, she sketched her own design and commissioned a dressmaker to tailor the elaborate gown at a cost of $10,000.
The following year, with some financial support from her father, Wang opened her own bridal boutique in the upscale Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue in New York City. The Vera Wang Bridal House initially offered couture gowns by the famed designers Guy Laroche, Arnold Scaasi, Carolina Herrera, and Christian Dior, but a few years later, lauched her own signature collection of streamlined and sophisticated bridal wear. Wang first received international attention during the 1994 Olympics when she designed a hand-beaded ensemble for figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Wang has since introduced an equally popular line of elegant evening wear, as well as Vera Wang Made to Order – a collection of couture designs that are available exclusively at the Manhattan boutique. To date, both her bridal and evening apparel are sold at over 55 upscale retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
By combining modern designs with traditional elegance, Wang has acquired a large following, particularly in Hollywood, and enjoyed success in practically every aspect of her designing enterprise, allowing her to expand by adding new lines of design and production, such as fragrances, accessories, lingerie, jewelry, and home products.
As a most prominent designer of bridal wear in America, Wang has been honored with a number of awards for her achievements, including the 1993 Chinese American Planning Council’s Honoree of the Year Award and the 1994 Girl Scout Council’s Woman of Distinction Award. Vera Wang lives in New York City with her husband, businessman Arthur Becker, and her two daughters.