|Vera Wang Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 3.5 in|
|Date of Birth||June 27, 1949|
Vera Wang is a world-famous American fashion designer of Chinese origin who launched her global empire with the creation of high-end bridal wear and couture gowns at the age of 40. Through licensing deals with several other companies, her brand name sells several other products such as beddings, tableware, jewelry, stationery, and perfumes. But, American TV shows and movies primarily celebrate her fashion icon status for her contribution to bridal wear designs. Her work was showcased in S*x and the City (both TV series and movie), Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Revenge, and Bride Wars.
Vera Ellen Wang
New York City, New York, United States
- Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
- Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States
Vera attended Friends Seminary private school and graduated from an all-girls Chapin school in 1967.
Vera enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York to study Theatre and pre-medical subjects but later switched her major to Art History. As a part of her course, she spent a year in France studying at the University of Paris and she graduated in 1971.
Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur, Worked at Vogue magazine for 16 years (including 15 years as Senior Editor)
- Father – Cheng Ching Wang aka Wang Chengqing (Lieutenant Colonel in the Chinese Nationalist Army from 1941 to 1943 before moving to the United States, MIT Alumnus, Founder of Summit Industrial Company and later U.S. Summit Corporation that dealt in pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment, and consumer goods) (Expired 2006)
- Mother – Florence Wu aka Wu Chifang (Former Translator for the United Nations) (Expired 2004)
- Siblings – Kenneth Wang aka Ken (Younger Brother), (MIT Class of 1971 and Harvard Alumnus, President of US Summit Company)
- Others – Wang Han Su (Paternal Grandmother), Wang Wen Shuen (Paternal Grandfather) (Military General turned War Minister under Generalissimo Chiang Kai Chek in China), Wang Pe-chen (Paternal Aunt) (Member of the Chinese parliament of the Republic of China for 43 years), Diana Wu (Maternal Aunt), General Wu Jing Biao (Maternal Grandfather) (Feudal Chinese Warlord), Wu Yue Shin (Maternal Grandmother), Doreen Ma now Doreen Wang (Sister-in-Law), Kevin (Nephew), Darren (Nephew), and Harry Wang (Nephew)
Vera Wang is represented by –
- Priya Shukla, Senior Vice President, Global Communications
- PR Consulting, New York City, United States
5 ft 3.5 in or 161 cm
49 kg or 108 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Vera Wang has dated –
- Patrick Péra (1970) – A male figure skater and part of the French national team, Patrick was already a bronze Olympic medalist when he met Vera. The designer was staying in Paris for her college junior year and admitted dating him during her entire stay there. Wang traveled throughout France to watch Patrick’s competitions and experienced the social life of some of Paris’s most exclusive night clubs being Patrick’s girlfriend. The couple broke up when she returned home to Manhattan, New York.
- At the age of 33, the designer took a break from working at Vogue for a year and relocated to Paris to re-invent herself. Wang often visits the French capital to take a break from personal and professional pressures. She mentioned dating an Art Gallerist in an interview but did not disclose his identity.
- Arthur Paul Becker (1987–2012) – Vera and CEO NaviSite and Zinio, Arthur Paul Becker first met at a Forest Hills Tennis match in New York City in 1980. They dated each other on and off for years. Although Arthur was interested in marriage, Vera deferred commitment for many years since she invested all her attention into her job that also comprised of an erratic travel schedule. They started dating seriously in 1987. The couple got informally engaged in 1988 during a vacation to Hawaii amid an argument. Encouraged by Anna Wintour and Ralph Lauren to settle down into marital life, Vera got formally engaged to Arthur in 1989. They got married in a Jewish Baptist interfaith ceremony at Hotel Pierre in June 1989. She hired a dressmaker to create a custom gown that cost 10,000 dollars. Immediately after marriage, Vera resorted to fertility treatments to start a family but she was unable to conceive. Wang was depressed and completely lost interest in her profession. At this time, her father encouraged her to start her own business and offered an initial investment of 4 million dollars. He asked her to design and sell wedding dresses as her first offering in the fashion industry. Meanwhile, Arthur advised and helped Vera’s brand in gaining global outreach. Together, the couple adopted two daughters named Cecilia (b. 1990) and Josephine (b. 1993). Weeks before their 23rd wedding anniversary, Arthur and Vera announced that they were separated. They retain an amicable relationship and collectively attend public events with their daughters to secure their unity as a family.
- Evan Lysacek – Evan is a 2010 Winter Olympic Gold medalist in the Men’s Singles figure skating event. Vera Wang designed his outfits for all his competitive performances in 2009 and 2010. There was widespread speculation that Wang’s relationship with Evan led to the breakdown of her marriage. Even though Evan is nearly 36 years younger than Vera, romance rumors intensified when the two were frequently spotted together at high profile events since 2012 and the paparazzi would often spot Evan residing at Vera’s Los Angeles or New York City home. The designer dismissed rumors by clarifying that she was merely his mentor. Evan started working for Vera in 2015. In April 2019, Lysacek announced his engagement to girlfriend Duangpatra “Dang” Bodiratnangkura, a residential real estate developer, on Instagram. He claimed to know her since 2011.
Race / Ethnicity
She has Chinese ancestry.
- Long, prominent nose
- Razor straight, black hair
- Slightly high pitched nasal voice
Vera Wang is primarily known for promoting her products that carry her name, which has evolved into a recognizable global brand.
- Her business started with a single posh boutique/salon located at Carlyle Hotel, Madison Avenue, New York City to create bridal outfits and red carpet gowns for affluent clients. But she expanded her offerings by signing licensing agreement for shoes with Rossimoda, for furs with Newmont Group, and fragrance with Unilever before 2000.
- In 1998, she created a limited edition bridal Barbie doll for Mattel Toy Company.
- After that, she ventured further to sell diamond jewelry in collaboration with Zales, eyewear with Kenmark Group, China and crystal crockery with Wedgwood, bed and bath collection, premium everyday lifestyle clothing and gym wear/active wear range through a licensing deal with Kohl’s in 2007 and 2014 respectively. She created a separate affordable range of Bridal wear with David’s Bridal (2011).
- In 2005, she designed a luxury honeymoon suite for the Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii which was initially given away for 5500 dollars a night.
- In 2008, she launched a collection of luxury linens for Serta Luxury Beds.
- She has also appeared in a TV commercial for Hewlett-Packard in 2007.
Best Known For
- Designing wedding dresses and red carpet gowns due to which she has earned the moniker “Queen of Bridal” and “Queen of Red Carpet Dressing”. Vera’s work gained massive publicity when Holly Hunter and Sharon Stone wore her gowns to the 1995 Academy Awards.
- Designing the bridal outfit for Karenna Gore, daughter of then Vice-president Al Gore in 1997
- Her ever-increasing list of celebrity clients which include Victoria Beckham, Vanessa Williams, Kristi Yamaguchi, Ivanka Trump, Hilary Duff, Khloé Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Chelsea Clinton, Jennifer Garner, Alicia Keys, Petra Ecclestone, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Simpson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heidi Klum, Tiffani Thiessen, Chrissy Teigen, and Avril Lavigne
First TV Show
She made her TV show debut in 1997 as a guest on the chat show, Charlie Rose.
- The designer has been an athlete all her life. When she retired from figure skating, running used to be a usual medium of exercise. She also enjoys swimming and golf and continues to skate as a hobby.
- Vera used to visit a gym when younger, but in her 60s, she limited herself to a full body weight training routine with 2-3 pound dumbbells in the morning that does not last beyond a few minutes.
- Wang is not a morning person and usually sleeps from 1 am to 8 am. During weekends, she tries to catch 10 hours of continuous sleep. She likes to sleep in a room with a very cool, slightly chilly temperature. The designer also aims for quality, deep sleep as she believes it heals her psyche.
- She never skips a meal and eats out dinner 5 nights a week no later than 7:30 pm. Her residential kitchen comprises of an ice cream freezer, a soda fridge, a healthy food fridge, and a liquor storage cabinet where the vodkas are kept ice-cold. She also has a candy pantry, a cereal pantry, and a separate pantry for “orange food” – Cheetos, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, along with other varieties of chips. She likes to eat chips with a glass of cocktail.
- Around 2006, Vera claimed to stop drinking diet Coke, which was one of the hardest habits to break for her.
- A sample meal plan for her dietary regime is as follows:
- Breakfast – Yogurt with fresh fruit or eggs and chicken sausage, omelet with a toast and a slice of bacon. If it’s a Sunday, she might have smoked salmon with brown bread and lots of lemons.
- Lunch – Chicken Soup with vegetables or a salad or a light meal like Sashimi with brown rice and vegetables, Chinese steamed broccoli with chicken and rice, or the artichoke salad or fish from Sant Ambroeus
- Dinner – Smoked salmon and steak tartare
Vera Wang Favorite Things
- Signature Clothing – Leggings, (Jeans and T-shirt when she was younger)
- Night Suit – Rick Owens T-shirts, Pleated Plastron gown from her line with Kohl’s
- Coffee – Jamaica Me Crazy by Wolfgang Puck
- Daily Wear Brands – Balenciaga, Givenchy, Danskin, or her own Kohl’s line
- Guilty Pleasure – Vanilla Pudding packs, Chips
- Moisturizer – Clinique
- NYC Restaurants – Morimoto, Bar Masa, Waverly Inn, The Beatrice Inn, and La Esquina
- Vacation – Attending couture shows in Paris
- Movies – My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), The King and I (1956), Casablanca (1942)
- Exfoliant – Manuka Secrets
- Make-up Tool – Artis Elite Mirror Oval 8 brush
- Boots – High heel platform boots from Farfetch.com
- Bag – Vera does not like carrying a handbag, hence, she heads out with an item like Maison Margiela mirror-effect clutch
- Camera – Hero4 Black GoPro Camera
- Sunglasses – Neale metal aviator sunglasses
- Nail Paint – Chanel Le Vernis nail color in Monochrome
- Wrist Watch – Cartier Santos-Dumont watch in 18k white-gold with diamonds
- Scarves – Abstract Leaf scarves from her own line
- Fashion Designer (Role Model) – Yves Saint Laurent
- Fashion Designers (For Personal Clothing) – Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons
- Alcoholic drink – Vodka
Vera Wang Facts
- The designer was first exposed to the world of French fashion at the age of 6, which later inspired her professional work. Her mother was a client of Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent.
- When she was young, her parents kept her busy with lessons in ice skating, ballet, piano, and tennis.
- She attempted ice-skating for the first time at the age of 6 and started training in figure skating at the age of 8. She competed in the US Figure Skating Championship in 1968 hoping to earn a place in the American Olympic team but finished 5th with a skating partner, James Stuart. When she failed to qualify for the Olympics and the World team, Vera was devastated and quit the sport at the age of 19.
- Her first red carpet dress was for Sharon Stone at the 1993 Academy Awards.
- In the summer of 1970, Vera got her first job of a salesperson and window dresser at New York City’s Yves Saint Laurent boutique, located on Madison Avenue where she met Frances Patiky Stein, editor of Vogue magazine who was impressed by her knowledge in fashion and offered her a job with the magazine once she graduated.
- Vera wanted to study further and enroll in a fashion design school. Her father was dismissive about her career choice and refused to pay for further education. He was willing to finance only a ‘serious’ pursuit in higher education, such as a Master’s degree in Business or Law. With no other option, Wang joined Vogue as an assistant to senior fashion editors, Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg and Elsa Klensch and, the Editor-in-chief, Grace Mirabella.
- In 1972, she was promoted to fashion editor’s position, the youngest in the magazine’s history. In 1973, Vera became Senior Fashion Editor and held that position for 15 years.
- Wang is a self-proclaimed workaholic who does not take any phone calls at work and usually walks around staying accessible to all her employees. She unwinds by visiting a spa, getting massages, taking a long bath or by getting her hair blown out.
- Vera was a self-proclaimed tomboy and favored an androgynous style due to which she related to the style of Yves Saint Laurent and became a fan of his work while he still worked at Christian Dior in the 1950s.
- She was featured in Sports Illustrated January 1968 issue in a segment called “Faces in the Crowd”, the section attributed to the recognition of amateur athletes.
- She was introduced as a debutante to high society at the International Debutante Ball held at Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City in 1968.
- Wang is a close friend of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour since 1983. Anna briefly dated her brother, Kenneth.
- Vera considers Ralph Lauren as one of her mentors. She worked for him from 1987 to 1989.
- The childhood home of Jackie Onassis Kennedy is one of the Park Avenue properties owned by the designer.
- Vera usually travels locally in a chauffeured driven van that always carries a tiny pharmacy, a fridge, water, Swedish Fish, blankets and pillows and a sketchbook so she can draw. She often jokes with her friends that if her van had a toilet, she could probably live in it.
- The designer likes collecting books.
- She is also very fond of shopping for hats. Due to a thick head of hair, she often has to buy men’s hats for herself.
- Vera owns more T-shirts than she can count. She has a separate room to store all her T-shirts where they are organized by designer brand and color. In T-shirts, Wang only wears Armani colors, which are gray, black, and navy blue.
- She is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic who usually has a sports match running on the TV in her New York City office.
- After being a part of several weddings, Vera put together her collective experiences and advice in the book, Vera Wang on Weddings first published in 2001.
- Her first signature perfume debuted in 2002 called Vera Wang – The Fragrance Eau de Parfum. The following year, it won the FiFi Award (2003) granted by the Fragrance Foundation which is one of the highest honors in the perfume industry.
- The designer was nervous about her sensibility to create good costumes for elite figure skaters and had to be convinced to take that job. Her designs were worn by Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, Michelle Kwan at the 1998 and 2000 Winter Olympics, Evan Lysacek for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Nathan Chen at 2018 Winter Olympics. For her contribution to figure skating as a costume designer, she was inducted in the Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009. In retrospect, Vera feels happy to share that even though she did not make it to the Olympics, her clothes did.
- Wang designed the outfits for the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders in 2003 and upgraded their outfit design again in 2013.
- The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recognized her with the “Womenswear Designer of the Year” award in 2005 and a “Lifetime Achievement” award in 2013.
- Vera was honored with the China Fashion Award (CFA) as “International Fashion Designer of the Year” in 2006.
- In February 2017, Vera was awarded French Knighthood. Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the U.S, bestowed her with the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest civilian order in France to honor her love for the French culture and acknowledging it through her professional creations.
- Visit the fashion designer’s company website @ verawang.com.
- Follow her company’s social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube.
- Follow her personal page on Instagram.
Featured Image by Vera Wang / Instagram