From Posh Spice's wedding dress to threads for Hollywood's A-list, Vera Wang's elegant gowns murmur sophistication. The former ice skater and Vogue fashion editor's rise and rise.
Vera was raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by her mother, Florence Wu, a UN translator, and her father, Cheng Ching Wang, an oil and pharmaceutical tycoon. She was a competitive ice skater until the age of twenty. Vera studied Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College, but switched to Art History when she realized that an Asian woman, in the early 1970s, was unlikely to be successful as an actress.
She was an editor at Vogue for seventeen years and Ralph Lauren design director for two years, despite having no formal design training. Many celebrities have appeared in her designs, she has designed skating dresses for Nancy Kerrigan, and gowns for Sharon Stone, Alicia Silverstone, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Garner and Mariah Carey.
After a long and strenuous search for the perfect wedding dress for her own lavish wedding, Vera decided to design her own line of wedding dresses. In 1990, she opened the Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd., on Madison Avenue in New York. Vera Wang’s many accomplishments include her trademark upscale wedding gowns, a range of accessories, a published wedding book, a fragrance line, and designing a Barbie gown collection.
She was married to Arthur Becker until 2012 and is the mother of two adopted daughters, Cecilia (born 1990) and Josephine (born 2003). Since then she has made wedding dresses for a wide range of celebrities including Mariah Carey, Hilary Duff and Jennifer Garner. Kim Kardashian wore a total of three Wang dresses at her wedding in 2011.
On 23 October 2001, the designer released 'Vera Wang on Weddings' and delved into the world of home furnishings by launching the Vera Wang China and Crystal Collection in 2002. In June 2005, Wang won the Council of Fashion Designers America's Womenswear Designer of the Year. On 27 May 2006, she was given the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award by the Savannah College of Art Design.
The following year, Wang launched the diffusion line Simply Vera, which is sold exclusively by Kohl's. In 2009, she was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame in recognition of her designs for sportstars.
Wang's designs are often referenced in popular culture such as 'Sex and the City' when Charlotte York declared that a Vera Wang wedding dress would be perfect for her nuptials to Trey McDougal. Carrie Bradshaw also wore Wang designs when she took part in a Vogue photo shoot in the show.
Wedding dresses created by Wang were also seen in 'Bride Wars' in which Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson wore custom-made Wang designs.