Wang, Vera

(1949- )
   Born to an affluent Chinese American family, she was schooled at the Chapin School, the Sorbonne in Paris, and Sarah Lawrence College, where she graduated with a degree in art history. At the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she competed but lost out to Peggy Fleming for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, so she turned her attention to fashion. Wang began her career as a fashion editor at Vogue, where she worked for sixteen years before moving to Ralph Lauren as designer. Within two years she was promoted to design director. She married financier Arthur Becker in 1989 and, as a result of her own frustration in finding a modern wedding dress, she went to her father for financial backing and started a wedding gown business. She and her business partner, Chet Hazzard, opened a boutique in 1990 at the Carlyle Hotel in New York. Wang is the first luxury designer to make her name on wedding gowns and is best known for her exquisitely modern, minimal gowns with architectural lines. Her gowns have been worn by celebrities Victoria Beckham, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Lopez (JLo), Jessica Simpson, Sharon Stone, and Uma Thurman. She has also designed figure skating costumes for Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan.
   In 2001, Wang published a book, Vera Wang on Weddings. In 2002, she launched her fragrance, Vera Wang, and signed licensing deals for footwear, eyewear, china, crystal, and fine jewelry. In 2003, she launched a men's fragrance. In 2004, she launched a ready-to-wear collection. In 2005, she signed a license for lingerie and, in 2006, she expanded her product line with Wedgewood to include sterling silver, flatware, and gift items. Wang designed a suite at the Halekulani Hotel and licensed her name to mattresses and fine paper products. The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Wang, in 2005, with its Women's Designer of the Year Award.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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