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Revolutionary Change to Bridal Wear: Vera Wang

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When South Korean actress Son Ye-Jin stepped out in an ethereal bridal gown for her vows earlier this year, fans and spectators went wild for her gown. 

A white dress detailed from top to bottom with one off-shoulder sleeve captured the attention of many spectators. Needless to say, the piece was custom-made by the one and only: Vera Wang.

In a world full of wedding gowns and celebrities, Vera Wang is no stranger to them. From Gwen Stefani to Ariana Grande, the designer embarks on her passion through her dresses with an elegant touch.

Vera Wang revolutionizes the world of weddings and bridal wear by adding her unique touch to each gown. Vera’s reputation is based on the hard work that she displays in her gowns and collections. 

Vera Wang: Where it all Began, from Figure Skater to Fashion Icon

Fashion designer, Vera Wang was born on July 27th, 1949 in New York.

At a young age, Wang started her dream career in figure skating. While still in school, she competed in the United States Figure Skating Championship in the year 1968. In fact, within the same year, Wang was featured in the magazine Sports Illustrated. 

Sadly, things took a turn and Vera Wang did not make the team for the Olympics. This devastation was a huge hit to her dreams. Wang fell into depression, feeling loss and emptiness.

Life had other plans for this successful icon and they started to fall into place. Vera Wang was determined to create a new path and turned to the fashion industry.

Wang graduated from The Chapin School and ended up pursuing studies at the University of Paris. Additionally, she attended Sarah Lawrence college and obtained a degree in art history.

While working in a Yves Saint Laurent boutique during her college years, Wang was approached by a pair who offered her a position at Vogue as an assistant editor. The job was a tough one for Wang but she made it through the difficult times and decided to quit her job and work for Ralph Lauren

Furthermore, at Ralph Lauren, Wang became director of design for two years. This pushed her to get the experience needed and helped her develop the skills to become an entrepreneur. Ralph Lauren was everything Wang admired, However, it was not enough to make her stay.

Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Vera Wang’s first bridal dress and design was not for a celebrity or a client. Vera wang designed her first piece for herself! Prior to her wedding with her now ex-husband Arthur P. Becker, Wang seemed unimpressed with the bridal wear that were in stores.

She took it upon her own and started designing her own wedding dress and detailing it in the sketches

The designer had no prior experience in bridal wear but managed to create a beautiful authentic piece for her special day. The experience felt like it was the start of something new and to her surprise it was. 

In September 1990, Wang decided to debut the Vera Wang Bridal House which is still to this day, located along Madison Avenue in New York City. 

Subsequently, celebrities and models started to look at Vera Wang’s designs and began to buy them for their special day. Although Wang’s career began with a disappointment in figure skating, the iconic designer did not let that stop her from loving figure skating. 

Vera Wang not only designs bridal gowns and wedding attires, but she also has gained attention for her eye-catching figure skating costumes. With an understanding of the flexibility and physics of figure skating. Wang focuses her attention on the elements needed in the attire she designs for skaters.

Skaters such as Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan, and Nathan Chan, illustrate some of her figure skating designs with confidence. Apart from bridal wear, Vera Wang has a collection of accessories and other designs that have appeared on runways and red carpets. 

Vera Wang Evolving Bridal Wear Traditions

Vera Wang’s concept of bridal wear surrounds around serving more than just tradition with a touch of modernity and alternatives.

Her designs express the desire for freedom in what women want in their attire. Wang has shown collections of bridal wear in a color that is not often seen in brides- such as blacks and reds. 

Wang also has previously launched bridal wear that is more on the affordable side of the spectrum, in a partnership with Pronovias, instead of having a high-end price- the designer will place the designs priced lower, with the same quality.

The collection has 60 bridal gowns along with 60 special occasions wear. An element shown in the collection is a broader spectrum of consumers including offering plus size. 

The designer not only has an exceptional taste in wedding gowns for celebrities, and models but her designs have also been on shows and videos.

To demonstrate this, Sex in the city character, Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker wore a Vera Wang wedding gown for a scene. In Hailee Steinfeld’s music video ‘Afterlife’, the singer wears a white gown in the middle of a beautiful scenery showing off Vera Wang’s design.

Wang shows off creativity, freedom, and expression through the designs that she makes for her brand. 

Vera Wang’s Iconic Moments

Here are some of the works that the iconic fashion designer has made.

Mariah Carey’s 1993 Wedding Dress

The singer wore a voluminous wedding dress that Vera Wang designed after the inspiration of the late Princess Diana’s wedding dress. 

Victoria Beckham’s 1999 Wedding Dress

Beckham’s dress made headlines at her wedding in 1999. Victoria paired the ball wedding gown with a tiara and made it seem like a timeless piece.

Michelle Obama’s China State Dinner Gown 2015

Former first lady of the United States wore a Vera Wang, black off-the-shoulder gown for the state dinner honoring Chinese President, Xi Jinping.

Sarah Hyland’s Wedding Dresses 2022

Actress Sarah Hyland wore two Vera Wang dresses for her wedding earlier this year!

Interconnecting with Vera Wang’s Keith Lissner

At our event during one of Fashinnovation’s Worldwide Talks, we had the pleasure to hear from Vice President of Design for Vera Wang, Keith Lissner.

Lissner touches on how he developed his career and how making a brand requires spending money. Mentioning that, learning from others will help develop one’s self within the fashion industry.

As time evolves technology and other methods help expand a brand as a designer.

He talks about the business model that Vera Wang has and mentions the different bridal wears that the brand is working with.

Lastly, Lissner recalls his interview with Vera Wang and how happy he is to work as the President of Design. To learn more about Vera Wang’s Keith Lissner tune in to Fashhinnovation’s WorldWide Talk: Fashion is Not What You Think.

Oddet Ramos

Content Producer & International Intern

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Oddet Ramos

Content Producer & International Intern

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