Vera Wang is a fashion designer based in New York, NY, USA. She is known for her wedding gown collection among other specialties.
Wang is a Chinese American who was raised in an affluent family and attended The Chapin School as well as the Sorbonne in Paris. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in art history. Her mother often took her to fashion shows in Paris. Her father started and owned a chemical company. Her paternal grandfather was a military general in China. Her maternal grandfather was a warlord in China.
As a girl, Wang trained as a figure skater, and competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She was actually featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd in the January 8, 1968 issue. When she failed to make the US Olympic team, she turned to her other passion, fashion.
Wang was a senior fashion editor for Vogue magazine for sixteen years. In 1985, she left Vogue and joined Ralph Lauren as a design director for two years. In 1990, she opened her own design salon in the Carlyle Hotel in New York which featured her trademark bridal gowns. She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan wore a unique design of Vera's for the 1994 Olympics. Wang also has made wedding gowns for Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Garner, Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Holly Hunter and Karenna Gore, among others. A dress she designed for Buffy the Vampire Slayer appeared in the episode "The Prom." Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actress who played Buffy, also had Wang design her actual wedding dress for her marriage to Freddie Prinze Jr. She also designed the two-piece uniforms currently worn by the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders.
Wang has expanded her brand name through her fragrance, jewelry, eyeware, shoe and houseware collections. She also penned the book Vera Wang on Weddings which was released by Harper Collins in October, 2001. In June 2005, she won the CFDA (Council of the 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.
Vera Wang appeared as a guest judge in the third season of Project Runway.
In 2002, Vera Wang began to move in the world of home fashion. Vera Wang China and Crystal offers superb styles and patterns that are durable for daily usage. All with her individualistic touch and design sensibilities. Her collection has produced three of the top ten best-selling patterns at bridal registries across the United States after only six months at the stores. View Vera Wang China.
On August 24, 2006, national department store operator Kohl's announced that it would carry clothing and handbags designed by Wang. The brand, "Very Vera by Vera Wang", a premium fashion and lifestyle brand, will be in stores Fall 2007. The collection will be available in Kohl's department stores as well as kohls.com, and will include sportswear, intimate apparel, jewelry, footwear, handbags and other accessories, and linens. "The Very Vera by Vera Wang brand will retain my personal design sensibility of a relaxed effortless approach to fashion," Vera Wang states. "I am thrilled to create a collection of creative lifestyle and apparel products for Kohl's. This new partnership with Kohl's, a company with incredible integrity and trust in the marketplace, is a true honor."
Wang currently lives in New York City with her husband, Arthur Becker, and their two daughters, Josephine, born in 1993, and Cecilia, born in 1990, who both currently attend The Chapin School. Arthur is the CEO of an information technology services company called Navisite. They have a weekend home in Pound Ridge, NY, where her brother owns the Pound Ridge Golf Club.