Vera Ellen Wang, a native of New York City, is one of the most recognized and influential fashion designers of today when talking about stylish wedding gowns and other bridal wear.
Her rise in the world of fashion is storied and well documented. Born in 1947, Wang attended the renowned Chapin School for girls in New York City where she was taught to strive for excellence in academics and sports. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Paris and earned a degree in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College.
Wang's interest in fashion began early in life due to the influence of her mother. She was taught the virtues of grace and style while and given a true sense of the values of life. Her mother also taught her the importance of setting and meeting goals.
One of Wang's dreams was to have a career in the world of fashion. She studied hard and learned all she could about fashions. Her hard work and persistence landed her a job at Vogue magazine and at 23, became Vogue's fashion editor.
After working at Vogue for 16 years, Wang decided she wanted to do something different. She left Vogue and went to work for Ralph Lauren.
Wang had met her future husband, Arthur Becker at a tennis match in 1980 and after dating on and off over the next eight or nine years, they decided to marry. Her impending marriage created the need for the perfect wedding gown.
Not finding any gowns fitting the look and style she envisioned, she sketched her own design and hired a talented dressmaker to turn her design into reality. This was the beginning of what would become a fashion designer success story.
A year later, Wang opened her own boutique. The Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd., located in New York's Carlyle Hotel, catered to an upscale clientele with featured gowns by established designers. During this period, Wang worked at perfecting her designing skills which culminated with her own signature collection.
The Vera Wang label has become the brand associated with modern clothing, gowns and accessories. Along with her bride and bridesmaid gown collections, she has added a ready-to-wear collection of clothing, shoes, lingerie, flirty dress, accessories, shawls and wraps, and a widely admired fragrance line.
Wang has also developed a home fashion line that is as stylish and elegant as her fashion designs. This line includes fine linens, throws decorative pillows, tableware, designer mattresses, and other home accessories.
Like the simple elegance of her wedding gowns, Vera’s first fragrance, introduced in 2002 in partnership with Unilever Cosmetics International, is simply called Vera Wang. An exotic and feminine scent featuring notes of mandarin, lotus and iris, it was designed with brides in mind.
This line was followed by Vera Wang for men in 2004, the sweeter scent of Princess in 2006, and Truly Pink, a sensual floral fragrance of freesia and rose.
Wang was the recipient of the 2005 Council of Fashion Designers of America Women's Wear Designer of the Year award.
Many celebrities who have become attracted to the Vera Wang brand include Beyonce Knowles, Renee Zellweger, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Sophia Vergara, Hilary Duff, Sharon Stone, and Mariska Hargitay.
In 2010, a beaming Chelsea Clinton walked down the aisle to say "I do!" wearing a strapless, raw-edged laser cut swirling silk organza Vera Wang ball skirt and train. Wang, a friend of the Clinton family, also designed all the bridesmaids' dresses, which were strapless bias cut lavender chiffon gowns with a side drape and contrasting plum bow. For her reception, Chelsea changed into a silk tulle Grecian Vera Wang gown with criss cross back and narrow grosgrain black belt.
Vera Wang and David's Bridal has teamed up to launch a new bridal collection priced under $1500. The collection will consist of gowns and accessories for the bride with a later intention of expanding into bridesmaid dresses and shoes. The collection will be available in the US in early Spring 2011 and in Canada by the end of 2011.
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