Wang at the 2009 premiere of City Island
|Born||June 27, 1949 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||The Chapin School
Sarah Lawrence College
|Labels||Vera Ellen Wang|
|Awards||CFDA‘s womenswear designer of the year, 2005; André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award|
|Spouse||Arthur Becker (m. 1989–present)|
|Children||Cecilia – (b. 1990)
Josephine – (b. 1993)
Vera Ellen Wang was born and raised in New York City and is of Chinese descent. Her parents were born in Shanghai, China, and came to the United States in the mid-1940s. Her mother worked as a translator for the United Nations, while her father owned a medicine company. She has one younger brother, Kenneth. After graduating from The Chapin School in 1967, she attended the University of Paris and earned a degree in art history from Sarah Lawrence College.
While in high school, Wang trained as a figure skater 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 US Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry.
She married Arthur Becker in 1989. They reside in Manhattan with their two daughters: Cecilia (born 1990), who currently attends the University of Pennsylvania, and Josephine (born 1993), who currently attends The Chapin School. Becker is the CEO of an information technology services company called NaviSite. Becker’s niece is actress Emmy Rossum.
Wang was a senior fashion editor for Vogue for sixteen years. In 1985, she left Vogue after being turned down for the editor-in-chief position currently filled by Anna Wintour 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 that features her trademark bridal gowns.
Wang has made wedding gowns for many well-known public figures, such as Chelsea Clinton, Karenna Gore, Ivanka Trump and news reporter Campbell Brown. She has made wedding gowns for celebrities ranging from artists such as Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez to actresses such as Jennifer Garner, Sharon Stone, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Hilary Duff, Uma Thurman, Holly Hunter, Kate Hudson, and among various other celebrities.
She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek. Silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan wore a unique design of Vera’s for the 1994 Olympics. She designed the two-piece uniforms currently worn by the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders.
Wang’s works have often been referenced in popular culture. 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 the Sex and the City movie, Vera Wang was featured amongst the bridal gowns Carrie Bradshaw wore in her Vogue photo shoot. In the movie Bride Wars, Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson both wore custom-made Vera Wang gowns. Vera Wang’s design was referenced in the NBC television show The West Wing in the episode, The Black Vera Wang.
Wang has expanded her brand name through her fragrance, jewelry, eyewear, shoe and houseware collections. On October 23, 2001, her book, Vera Wang on Weddings, was released. In June 2005, she won the CFDA (Council of 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.
In 2002, Vera Wang began to enter the home fashion industry and launched The Vera Wang China and Crystal Collection, followed by the 2007 release of her diffusion line called Simply Vera, which are sold exclusively by Kohl’s.
Twenty years after opening her first bridal boutique, Wang was awarded the Leadership in the Arts Award by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association. She accepted the award on April 17, 2010 at Identities, the Harvard association’s annual charity fashion show.
- Project Runway as a guest judge (2006)
- Ugly Betty as herself (episode: A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding) (2007)
- The Apprentice as herself (2008)
- Keeping up with the Kardashians as herself (episode: The Wedding) (2009)
- Chelsea Lately as herself (2011)
- ^ “Vera Wang Wed To Arthur Becker”. New York Times. June 23, 1989. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
- ^ Sports Illustrated, December 15, 2006, p. 66
- ^ Krohn, Katherine (2006). Vera Wang (A&E Biography). Twenty-First Century Books. pp. 112. ISBN 0822566125.
- ^ a b Vera Wang – Designer Fashion Label Biography New York Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
- ^ “Gore’s Eldest Daughter Weds New York Doctor In Washington” CNN. July 12, 1997. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
- ^ “NBC’s Campbell Brown Gets Married” People. April 2, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
- ^ RSVP for Gossip Girl’s Finale Wedding! Retrieved March 1, 2009.
- ^ Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
- ^ Amy Sohn. Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell.
- ^ Bride Wars Style: A behind-the-scenes look at creating Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway’s bridal fashion
- ^ Vera Wang to be inducted into U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame
- ^ Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek in battle at figure skating nationals. USA Today
- ^ “Cultural Couture: Campus catwalks redefine the relationship between minorities and fashion” “The Harvard Crimson“. April 20, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- Official website
- Vera Wang – designer profile at Fashion Model Directory
- Vera Wang at the Internet Movie Database
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