45 Things You Didn’t Know About Vera Wang
How well do you know about Vera Wang? You might simply know her as a fashion designer, but there are still deeper you still don’t know about Vera Wang. She’s popularly know as a Chinese-American fashion designer who was born and raised in New York City, USA. This is so because her parents came to the United States in the mid-1940’s having been born and raised in China. In this article, we’ll be telling you all you need to know about Vera Wang.
Wang attended Friends Seminary, and graduated from The Chapin School in 1967. She attended the University of Paris and earned a degree in art history from Sarah Lawrence College. Wang began figure skating at the age of eight. 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 U.S. Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry. Now read further below to see all details you need to know about Vera Wang, with respect to her background and fashion career.
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All You Need to Know About Vera Wang
Below consists of the background of Vera Wang, her education, personal life, her career and her achievements as a fashion designer.
Background and Personality of Vera Wang
- Vera Ellen Wang was born and raised in New York City, and is of Chinese descent.
- Her parents were born in China, and came to the United States in the mid-1940s.Her mother, Florence Wu (Wu Chifang), worked as a translator for the United Nations, while her father, Cheng Ching Wang (Wang Chengqing), a graduate of Yanjing University and MIT, owned a medicine company. Her maternal grandfather is Fengtian clique warlord Wu Junsheng, who was killed by the Empire of Japan in the Huanggutun incident in 1928. Wang has one younger brother, Kenneth.
- Wang attended Friends Seminary, 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 eight.
- 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 U.S. Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry. Wang continues to enjoy skating, saying, “Skating is multidimensional”.
- In 1968, Wang was presented as a debutante to high society at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
- Vera Wang loves sports and exercise. She spends her day dealing with all the different lines of product she handles, from poring over china patterns to small leather goods at Kohl’s. She usually doesn’t take phone calls during the day.
- In 1989, she married Arthur Becker in an interfaith Baptist and Jewish ceremony. They resided in Manhattan with their two adopted daughters: Cecilia (born 1990), who currently lives in New York City, and Josephine (born 1993), who attended The Chapin School and currently attends Harvard University.
- In July 2012, Vera Wang Co. announced that the couple had separated. The separation was amicable.
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About Her Career
- Wang was hired to be an editor at Vogue immediately upon graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, making her the youngest editor at that magazine.
- She stayed at Vogue for 17 years, leaving in 1987 to join Ralph Lauren, for whom she worked for 2 years.
- At 40 she resigned and became an independent bridal wear designer.
- In 1990, she opened her own design salon in the Carlyle Hotel in New York City that features her trademark bridal gowns. She has since opened bridal boutiques in New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney and has also expanded her brand through her fragrance, jewelry, eyewear, shoes, and homeware collections.
- On October 23, 2001, her book, Vera Wang on Weddings, was released.
- In 2002, Wang began to enter the home fashion industry and launched The Vera Wang China and Crystal Collection.
- In 2006, Wang reached a deal with Kohl’s, a chain of department stores, to produce a less expensive line of ready-to-wear clothing exclusively for them called Simply Vera.
- In 2007 she released her diffusion line called “Simply Vera,” which are sold exclusively by Kohl’s.
- “White by Vera Wang” launched on February 11, 2011, at David’s Bridal. Prices of the bridal gowns range from $600 to $1,400 which gives more brides a more affordable way to wear Vera’s designs.
- In Spring of 2012, Wang teamed up with Men’s Wearhouse to offer two tuxedo styles available in both the retail and rental areas of their inventory.
- In June 2012, she expanded in Australia with the opening of “Vera Wang Bride Sydney” and her first Asian flagship store “Vera Wang Bridal Korea”, helmed by President Jung Mi-ri, in upmarket neighborhood Cheongdam-dong in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
- On September 10, 2019, after a sabbatical of 2 years during which she had presented her collections only via films, Vera Wang returned to the New York Fashion Week runway for her Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of her brand. The show got very positive reviews, Godfrey Deeny describing it as a “notable collection by one of the few New York designers with a truly distinctive fashion DNA”,while Bridget Foley presented Vera’s creations as “Beautiful, seriously designed clothes, presented with gutsy panache”. However, the show was marred by several major footwear malfunctions, especially during the finale when no less than four models fell down, including the showstopper, top model Fei Fei Sun, who fell twice in a row, leading chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman to state that “In 2019, no woman should be tortured by what she wears”.
Her Achievements So Far in the Fashion World
Several movies and television shows have mentioned Wang’s works. Now look at other notable achievements of hers below:
- Wang has made wedding gowns for public figures such as Chelsea Clinton, Karenna Gore, Ivanka Trump, Campbell Brown, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, Khloe Kardashian, and Kim Kardashian.
- Wang’s evening wear is been worn by Michelle Obama.
- She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Nathan Chen. Kerrigan wore Wang for the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, Kwan for the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, Lysacek for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Chen for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- Wang was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009 for her contribution to the sport as a costume designer.
- She designed the uniforms worn by the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders.
- 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 thesame film, Vera Wang was among the bridal gowns Carrie Bradshaw wore in her Vogue photo shoot.
- Wang’s design was mentioned in the NBC television show The West Wing in the episode “The Black Vera Wang”. In ABC’s Ugly Betty TV series, Vera Wang makes a cameo as herself, designing a dress for Wilhelmina Slater’s wedding to Bradford Meade.
- In the film Diary of a Mad, Black Woman, Madea rips a dress by Vera Wang, which surprises Brenda.
- In the Totally Spies! episode “The Wedding Crasher”, a villain named Wera Van (parody of Vera Wang), desires revenge on those who rejected her wedding dress designs.
- Vera Wang also designed a wedding dress for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character Buffy Summers in the TV Series Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode “The Prom”.
- In the TV series, How to Get Away with Murder, the character Michaela Pratt mentioned a custom Vera Wang wedding gown when confronting her fiancé, Aiden Walker, about his sexuality.
- In the political comedy First Daughter, Wang, playing herself, takes the president’s daughter Samantha Mackenzie (Katie Holmes) and her friend Mia (Amerie) to try on wedding dresses.
- In the TV Series Gossip Girl, Vera Wang is mentioned in multiple episodes and is one of Blair Waldorf’s favorite designers.
- Also in Revenge, Victoria Grayson, played by Madeleine Stowe, wears a steel gray Vera Wang mermaid gown in her second wedding with Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny). The dress was actuall shown in black at Wang’s Fall 2012 show.
- At the 2017 Super Bowl, Lady Gaga wore Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2017.
- In the second-season episode of Supergirl, “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk”, Mr. Mxyzptlk snaps his fingers and puts a wedding dress on Supergirl. When she protests that he “can’t just put [her] in a wedding dress”, he responds, “Why not? It’s Vera Wang”.
- Similarly, in The Simpsons episode “My Big Fat Geek Wedding”, Edna Krabappel walks out on her wedding to Seymour Skinner. Nelson Muntz refuses to egg her with a canola oil egg per Bart Simpson’s request because the dress is a Vera Wang. He eggs Skinner with it instead.
- She is mentioned in a film, The Accountant, as the character Dana Cummings describes her as the designer of a dress that she coveted for he
- Wang’s evening wear has been worn by stars at many red carpet events, including Viola Davis at the 2012 Academy Awards, and Sofia Vergara at the 65th Emmy Awards.
- Forbes placed her the 34th in the list America’s Richest Self-Made Women 2018, her revenues rising to $630 million in that year.
Her Notable Awards
- In June 2005, she won the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) 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.
- She was honored with the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.