Vera Wang: biography
Vera Ellen Wang is the American fashion designer who has become the youngest editor in Vogue ever: at the age of 23, she headed the fashion section. Wang is famous for her wedding and evening dress collections; besides, she creates clothes for contests and sports competitions.
Childhood and youth
Vera Wang was born on June 27, 1949, in New York. Her Chinese parents left Shanghai for the United States in the mid-1940s. Her mother Florence Wu was a UN translator, and the father Cheng Ching Wang was a medicine company owner. Vera has a brother Kenneth.
The children were raised in a wealthy family; the girl had a prestigious education. At six, she started figure skating; together with her partner James Stuart, Vera got the fifth position in the US Figure Skating junior competition.
After the young woman failed to join the US Olympic team, she quitted and devoted her life to fashion: the girl had been interested in design from the early age. Vera’s mother frequented fashion shows and always took her daughter with her.
In 1967, Wang entered the Sarah Lawrence College; today, it is the most expensive college in America. Vera became the Bachelor of Arts. Besides, she studied in Sorbonne for two years. In 1968, Vera Wang got to the Sports Illustrated cover.
Fashion and design
In 1971, Vera was invited to the American Vogue which made her the youngest editor of the fashion section in the entire history of the magazine. Throughout 17 years, Wang discovered many talented designers and also proved to be a remarkable designer herself.
In 1987, Vera Wang decided to quit the position of the magazine editor and accepted Ralph Lauren’s offer. She became the accessories design director in his fashion house. In two years, she created 13 accessories lines.
Vera Wang’s wedding inspired her to create wedding dress collections. As soon as the woman began to prepare for the ceremony, she failed to find a suitable dress: according to Vera, she could see only tasteless poofy dresses with frills and rhinestones. As a result, the young woman sketched her dress herself and hired a tailor. The overall dress cost was $10,000.
In 1990, supported by her husband and father, Vera Wang opened her own wedding and evening dress store. At first, she sold only famous designers’ dresses and showed her own works sometimes.
Soon, the store became so popular that Vera Wang had a constant flow of orders for her dresses. Victoria Beckham, Uma Thurman, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Ivanka Trump, Kate Hudson, and other famous people were her clients.
In the course of time, every woman dreamed of Vera Wang’s dresses. Her popularity was only growing when her works appeared in movies. Vera Wang’s wedding dresses may be seen in Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The movie Bride Wars brought Vera’s gowns the most significant “role”: the main characters’ dresses were custom-made.
The designer continued to work. Although she could not participate in the Olympic Games personally, her clothes did. In 1992, the designer created the costume for the figure skater Nancy Kerrigan; the athlete not only won the bronze medal but also celebrated Vera Wang’s work. Later, Vera created costumes for many famous figure skaters including Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek.
In 1994, Wang had her first prêt-à-porter women’s collection released. At that moment, an average dress cost $3500. In 1997, the designer presented her shoe collection perfect for her wedding and evening dresses.
In 2001, Vera Wang’s book Vera Wang on Weddings was released. In spring 2002, the designer presented the first women’s perfume Vera Wang.
As a fashion designer, Vera Wang has gained many awards. In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named her the Womenswear Designer of the Year. In 2009, the woman became the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame member: her contribution to figure skating costume design was marked by that. In 2013, Vera got the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1989, Vera Wang married the wealthy stockbroker Artur Becker.
In this marriage, there were two daughters: Cecilia (born 1990) and Josephine (born 1993).
In 2012, media reported Vera Wang and Artur Becker who had lived together for 23 years split up. According to Daily News, 63-year-old Vera Wang had a love affair with 27-year-old Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek. Today, the designer either dating no one or keeps this information secret from reporters.
In February 2017, Vera Wang received the Legion of Honor Order. The same year, she became number 29 in America's Richest Self-Made Women according to Forbes.
Wang’s official website contains not only wedding and evening dresses but also other products of the brand: the perfume collection, sunglasses, interior items, and home textile.