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Vera Wang (1949)

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  Summary  

Vera Ellen Wang is a Chinese American fashion designer based in New York City and former figure skater. She is known for her wide clientele of couture bridesmaid gowns and wedding gown collections.

  Biography  

 personal life
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. Wang has one younger brother, Kenneth. She graduated from The Chapin School in 1967, attended the University of Paris and earned a degree in art history from Sarah Lawrence College.

Wang began figure skating at the age of six. While in high school, she trained 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. Wang continues to enjoy skating, saying, "Skating is multidimensional."

She married Arthur Becker in 1989. They reside in Manhattan with their two daughters: Cecilia , who currently attends the University of Pennsylvania, and Josephine , who currently attends The Chapin School. Becker is the CEO of an information technology services company called NaviSite.

 career
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 socialite Kim Kardashian.

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 film Sex and the City, Vera Wang was featured amongst the bridal gowns Carrie Bradshaw wore in her Vogue photo shoot. In the film 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 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.

Wang was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009, and was honored for her contribution to the sport as a costume designer.

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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Vera Wang", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.