By Yoon Joung Lee
Vera Wang, an American fashion designer of Chinese descent, was born in 1949 in New York City. She was raised by Chinese-American affluent parents who came to the States in the mid-1940s. Her mother worked for the United Nations as a translator and her father owned a medicine company. She has one younger brother, Kenneth.
When she was in high school, she was a figure skater who competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. However, she failed to make the US Olympic Team in 1968 at the National Figure Skating Finals and she entered the fashion industry. Due to her strong passion to make a contribution to the sport she loves, she continues to design costumes for Olympic skaters such as Michelle Kwan, Nancy Kerrigan and Evan Lysacek.
She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York with a degree in Art History. When she was 23, she became the youngest editor for Vogue magazine and she worked there for about 17 years. Later, she was employed by Ralph Lauren and worked there as a Design Director for two years.
After working in the major fashion industry about 18 years, she realized that there was no fashion in the bridal industry. What she felt about the bridal industry at the time was the lack of sophistication of traditional dresses. She started to think what any reasonable woman with high-powered fashionable sense would want to wear for their wedding; she designed her own bridal line.
In 1990, she opened her first luxurious salon on Madison Avenue in New York City. In 1992, she started her new bridal line and also added evening dresses in 1993. Her new bridal line with elegance, freshness and detailing became popular not only across the nation, but also over the world.
Her bridal gowns are worn by many celebrities including; Sharon Stone, Maria Carey, Alicia Keys, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, and among various other celebrities. Her works have often been introduced in popular culture including; Sex and the City TV series and movie, Charlotte York, and The West Wing. Most of these pop cultures see Wang's wedding dress to be the perfect wedding dress.
Her works are not only limited to the clothing industry. She has expanded her brand name through her shoe, fragrance, jewelry, eyewear and houseware collections.She is also an author of Vera Wang on Weddings, which was released on October 23, 2001. In 2010 April, she received the Leadership in the Arts Award by the Havard-Radcliffe Asian American Association at Identities, the Havard association's annual charity fashion show.