Vera Wang (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Vera Ellen Wang (, ; born June 27, 1949) is an American fashion designer based in New York City and former figure skater. She is known for her wide range of haute couture bridesmaid gowns and wedding gown collections, as well as for her clientele of elite ladies figure skaters, designing dresses for competitions and exhibitions.
Vera Ellen Wang was born and raised in New York City and is of Chinese descent. Her parents were born in Shanghai, China, and came to the United States in the mid-1940s. Her mother worked as a translator for the United Nations, while her father owned a medicine company. Wang has one younger brother, Kenneth. She graduated from The Chapin School in 1967, attended the University of Paris and earned a degree in art history from Sarah Lawrence College. Wang began figure skating at the age of six. While in high school, she trained with pairs partner James Stuart, and competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She was featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd in the January 9, 1968 issue. When she failed to make the US Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry. Wang continues to enjoy skating, saying, "Skating is multidimensional."
She married Arthur Becker in 1989. They resided in Manhattan with their two daughters: Cecilia (born 1990), who currently attends the University of Pennsylvania, and Josephine (born 1993), who attended The Chapin School and currently attends Harvard University. Becker was the CEO of an information technology services company called NaviSite until August 2010. In July 2012, Vera Wang Co. announced that the couple have separated. The separation was amicable. One week later, it was announced that then-27 year old Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek had moved into her home, prompting speculation as to the nature of their relationship.
Beginning in 1970, Wang was a senior fashion editor for Vogue but left Vogue after being turned down for the editor-in-chief position currently filled by Anna Wintour and joined Ralph Lauren as a design director for two years.
She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek. Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan wore a unique design of Vera's for the 1994 Olympics. She designed the two-piece uniforms currently worn by the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders.
On October 23, 2001, her book, Vera Wang on Weddings, was released. In June 2005, she won the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year. On May 27, 2006, Wang was awarded the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Wang was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009, and was honored for her contribution to the sport as a costume designer.
Twenty years after opening her first bridal boutique, Wang was awarded the Leadership in the Arts Award by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association. She accepted the award on April 17, 2010 at Identities, the Harvard association's annual charity fashion show.
Wang's evening wear has been worn by stars at many red carpet events, including Viola Davis at the 2012 Academy Awards.
In 1990, she opened her own design salon in the Carlyle Hotel in New York that features her trademark bridal gowns. She has since opened bridal boutiques in New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney, Australia. Wang has also expanded her brand name through her fragrance, jewelry, eyewear, shoe and houseware collections.
'White by Vera Wang' launched on February 11, 2011 at David's Bridal. Prices of the bridal gowns range from $600-$1,400 which gives more brides a more affordable way to wear Vera's designs. In 2002, Wang began to enter the home fashion industry and launched The Vera Wang China and Crystal Collection, followed by the 2007 release of her diffusion line called Simply Vera, which are sold exclusively by Kohl's.
In June 2012, she opend her third global and first Asian flagship store 'Vera Wang Bridal Korea', helmed by President Jung Mi-ri, in upmarket neighbourhood Cheongdam-dong in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
In popular culture
Wang's works have often been referenced in popular culture. In the Sex and the City TV series, Charlotte York found Wang's wedding dress to be the perfect wedding dress, and wore it for her wedding to Trey MacDougal. In the film Sex and the City, Vera Wang was featured among the bridal gowns Carrie Bradshaw wore in her Vogue photo shoot.