There is no argument to the fact that fashion is not a piece of cake. The industry is so competitive, it is always a constant change that the designers have to embrace yet keep their identity intact! This mantra, though sounds difficult, Vera Wang, a famous New York designer has proved that once your eyes are on the target, you can win the world.
One Who Does Not Give Up:
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Graceful, defying age at all stages of life, Vera Wang is famous for her wedding couture. Her magnificent collections always grace the red carpet by celebrities who adorn them and catch eyes and praises for their fashion sense. Though initially a figure skater, she opted for fashion designing as her career when she could not make it to the Olympics. And oh boy, are we glad that she did! From her flowy extravagant wedding gowns that are pieces of Art to her intricately designed evening wears, everything about her line of collection speaks about class, opulence and elegance.
It is amazing how she began her own line at the age of 40, that too out of the need to have her own wedding dress as she could not find one suitable for her body. Her willingness to stay on top and work hard to achieve has proven how there is no age to success. It is worth mentioning here that she is among New York’s richest fashion designers now. But interestingly, the determination that she is known for, comes from being a figure skater. The sport for her is not just some pastime activity but it has taught her the purpose of life-the discipline one needs to make dreams a reality and mainly, to grow on your own and start over again with the same resilience!
Little Background of Vera Wang: The Designer
Born on 27th June 1949, in New York, the designer is a daughter of immigrants who migrated from China. Her parents were influential individuals, though privileged, Vera Wang was not brought up as a brat. Instead, working hard was the quality always appreciated by her parents. After completing her education from Chaplin School and the School of American Ballet, she attended Sarah Lawrence College as well. She got a chance to spend a couple of months in Sorbonne in Paris where she observed how French people were all about living lives to their fullest. Their exuberance pertaining to life and lifestyle won the heart of Vera Wang but being brought up in an environment that preferred rush and constant vigor, she parted ways with the luxurious life of Paris and returned to America to complete her history degree.
The Push We All Need:
Parents always are their children’s biggest inspiration; Vera was no different. She adored the graceful fashion sense of her mother who worked at the United Nation. Her taste with respect to clothing and always being styled inspire Vera enough to learn a bit of fashion from her mom. But the tenacity to stand tall and always be on the go, taking all measures to succeed comes from her father. Being a businessman, he was the one who pushed her to start her own line. During her endless search to find a dress that could compliment her body, and still failing, her father encouraged her to design the dress for herself and that is how the Vera Wang-the brand was initiated.
What Vera Wang Was Before Being the Designer:
It is beautiful how every step of our journey is significant to bring the best or worst out of a person. Vera started as an Editor of Vogue and was the youngest to be the Editor, but her determination to move mountains to get the desired earned her the fruition of her hard work. Things took a turn when she was not appointed as the Chief-in-Editor and she decided to part ways for the better. But as they say, everything happens for a reason, Vera started working at Condé Nast and later at Ralph Lauren, the fashion giants. She contributed her expertise in some 18 accessories lines at Ralph Lauren but decided to take a step further and dive deeper in the industry with her own line. Though it was daunting and she is one of those who would work, irrespective of time, she managed to pave her own way to success. No wonder she was the one of the self-made rich women in the US by 2018!
Design Philosophy-What Makes her Standout Among the Crowd:
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Fashion is fervor, it is always altering and it keeps one always on their toes to come up with new ideas. Vera Wang embraces this nature of constant change in the fashion industry as her challenge by amalgamating the traditional with the contemporary. Her dresses have deep connection with history yet they are very much relevant to the present, making them timeless for their patrons.
The fun fact about Vera is her capacity to be inspired with anything and everything and yet come up with her own unique style. Whether it is taking inspiration from Japanese Culture through the Kill Bill movie or being inspired by King Louis XIV, Vera Wang makes magic with her designs, mesmerizing her clients through her exceptional design sense.
Not Just a Designer:
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In order to survive in the industry, exceptional designing skills are not the only means to make it big. While she works as a designer, she is also very much into managing her business on her own. Being an entrepreneur requires determination, learning all traits of business whether related to designing or marketing or procurement, that is when many either give up or rely on others to share their burden. Not Vera Wang, she works meticulously, knowing that there are people whose livelihood is attached to her venture. The reason why being successful has become second nature to her.
The Famous Names Who Adorn Her Dresses:
Who would not want to dress like a diva! Anyone who appreciates fashion and is a sucker for elegance in fashion, will certainly choose Vera Wang as one of their stylists. Some names who were privileged to wear dresses designed by Vera Wang are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka Trump, Alicia Keys, Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama, Hilary Duff, Holly Hunter, Karenna Gore, Campbell Brown, Avril Lavigne, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lopez and Khloe Kardashian.
Her dresses even became the limelight of many red-carpet events whereby they were worn by Sofia Vergara at Emmy Awards, Viola Davis at Academy awards and Sandra Bullock at Oscars. Interesting to note here is her passion for figure skating; not only does she do it herself even now, she designs dresses for sports as well. She was the designer of Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders’ uniform and also Michelle Kwan’s, Evan Lysacek and Nancy Kerrigan’s dresses for figure skating.
Accolades/ Accomplishments Vera Wang has Earned as a Designer:
Everyone who puts in all the efforts to bring the best to its audience deserves all the praises. Besides being one of the richest female designers, Vera Wang has earned some prestigious accolades throughout her journey as a designer. Some worth sharing are
- Chinese American Planning Council’s Honoree of the Year Award (1993)
- Girl Scout Council’s Woman of Distinction Award (1994)
- Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) (1994)
- Womenswear Designer of the Year (2005)
- Leadership in Arts Award by Radcliffe-Harvard Asian American (2010),
- Geoffery Beene Lifetime Achievement award (2013),
- Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award (2019)
Vera Wang is not just a designer, but an entrepreneur, an author of her book Vera Wang on Weddings, and a super talented figure skater. Her resilience to make her own name earned her the title of one of the richest self-made women in 2018. She has proven that age is nothing but a number and anyone who wants to make a difference will certainly make one if one is willing to take chances and face challenges. Even with new designers joining the industry and bringing up new and bright ideas, Vera Wang and her brand is relevant for being timeless. What started as just a store in New York now has expanded to Australia, UK and Tokyo as well, bringing luxurious clothing and accessories to people who love fashion. Not only that but she even shows her presence on many famous TV series such as Ugly Betty, Bride Wars, Sex and the City, and Totally Spies. From “brick by brick” and “client by client”, she has managed to win hearts through her passion and determination to excel, certainly an inspirational personality to learn about!