Vera Ellen Wang / 王薇薇 (born on June 27, 1949) — is an American wedding dress designer and former figure skater.
Vera was born and raised in New York but was of Chinese descent. Both of her parents were born in Shanghai and came to the United States in the mid 40s. Unlike most Chinese immigrants to the US, Vera’s parents were from the Chinese elite. Two of Vera’s grandfathers were career military generals in China, and her parents were also from wealthy families.
Although the Wang family did not deny themselves anything and lived a comfortable life, they tried not to pamper Vera too much and taught her to work hard. Her mother, Florence Wu (Wu Chifang), worked as a UN translator, and her father, Cheng Ching Wang (Wang Chengqing), owned a large medical company producing specialty health products.
Vera was an intelligent and smart girl, so during the educational part of her life, she graduated from Chapin School in 1967, attended the University of Paris, as well as earned a degree in art history at Sarah Lawrence College. From an early age, after the girl turned six years old, she began to seriously engage in figure skating.
When she did not make the US Olympic team, she decided to change her occupation and became interested in the fashion industry. Vera’s father often told her: “If you really want to get into the fashion industry, prove it and get yourself a job first.”
It didn’t take long, and Vera Wang landed a job as a senior fashion editor at Vogue, where she worked for seventeen years. In 1987, she left Vogue, making way for Anna Wintour.
In 1989, Vera Wang married Arthur Becker that she remained with in a long and happy marriage until 2012. When Becker proposed to her, Vera already knew a lot about the fashion world and decided to create her wedding dress herself. The wedding dress turned out to be so successful and spectacular that after that all the most famous brides in America began to turn to her for the design of their wedding dresses too.
Wang has made wedding dresses for many celebrities and has also designed costumes for figure skating stars, some of whom have even appeared at the Olympics. Vera Wang did not limit herself to wedding fashion alone, and managed to win a place of honor in the list of the most sought-after designers of red carpet outfits.
Vera Wang’s designs are often referenced in popular culture and TV shows such as Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Sex and the City, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, etc.
Vera Wang was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. After several years of a sabbatical, Vera Wang got back to NYFW runway for her Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, thus celebrating the 30th anniversary of her brand.