Vera Wang was born in New York in 1949, to Chinese parents who had fled the Communist revolution in 1947. She had originally dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater, but when she did not make the team in 1968, she went to the Sorbonne, in Paris and to Sarah Lawrence College in the USA, to study. She has a BA in Liberal Arts.
In 1970, at the age of 21, on graduating, Vera became the youngest editor ever at Vogue magazine. She remained there for 17 years till 1987. She gave up the idea of studying at fashion school in New York, because she said later that her father could not afford further education for her, and she found that VOGUE was the best training ground any designer could have.
When she left Vogue, she worked with Ralph Lauren for 2 years. She decided to leave him when she was 40 years old, and set up as a bridalwear designer.
She married Arthur Becker in 1989 and has two daughters.
She discussed with Calvin Klein, the idea of opening her own bridalwear salon and he thought she was crazy. And so in 1990, she opened her own house on Madison Avenue, New York, designing bridal wear and evening gowns. In 1994, she started her own label.
Vera says that one of the important reasons for her success, is her admiration of the work of Yves St. Laurent with it's chic, creative and cultured style. She credits her mother for taking her to YSL's salon in Paris when she was growing up, implanting within her a fascination with fashion and style.
Her appreciation of surface decoration, particularly beading, and the use of net to give the illusion of bare skin, have also recommended her for the design of Olympic figure-skating costumes - so bringing her back full-circle to her childhood dreams.
Her search for perfection even drove her to invest $ 4 million on publishing her book "Vera Wang on Weddings" in 2001.
Vera opened a bridal boutique in Shanghai in October 2005, called the Perfect Wedding. The fashion crowd which gathered for the opening could see for themselves that a designer with a Chinese heritage could have global appeal.
Vera Wang and her good friend Anna Sui, are symbolic among Chinese people for having become so successful in America.
Vera does not release sales figures to the public, but Vera Wang Bridal House, creating wedding and evening wear, has been bolstered by VEW the licensing division, apparently turning over about $ 300,000 a year. She has fragrance licenses with Coty, has eyewear lines, furs, shoes, fine jewellery and table ware. In 2005 Vera has added a lingerie line and paper products.
The Vera Wang name is synonymous with elegant, understated gowns constructed from the finest fabrics. Her bridal gowns are what Vera Wang is famous for. She uses rich fabrics such as silk lace and duchesses satin, in the tradition of Paris couture and applies them to the simple shapes associated with American sportswear, like the vest dress.
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