Vera Ellen Wang was born in New York City, New York, on June 27, 1949. Wang was raised on Manhattan's Upper East Side as the daughter of affluent Chinese immigrants and had a privileged childhood.
Her mother, Florence Wu, worked for the United Nations as a translator, and her father, Cheng Ching Wang, a graduate of Yanjing University and MIT, was the owner of a pharmaceutical company.
Before enrolling at Sarah Lawrence College, Vera attended the prestigious Chapin School and the School of American Ballet. She spent her sophomore year studying abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, but returned to the United States to finish her art history degree.
Wang competed competitively as a figure skater throughout her adolescence. However, she and her partner, James Stuart, finished fifth in the junior pairs discipline at the 1968 U.S. National Championships, falling short of their Olympic goals.
Just after her gradUation she got an opportunity to Work With Vogue. Wang was elevated to senior fashion editor within a year, at the age of 23. For the next 15 years, she kept that position. She left Vogue in 1987 to work for Ralph Lauren as a design director for accessories. Later at 40 she resigned and became an independent bridal wear designer.
She drew her own design after becoming dissatisfied with the limited range of current bridal apparel and paid a dressmaker $10,000 to tailor the complex garment. Wang started her own bridal boutique in the posh Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue in New York City the following year, with some financial help from her father.
Guy Laroche, Arnold Scaasi, Carolina Herrera, and Christian Dior were among the first couture gowns supplied by Vera Wang Bridal House. Wang polished her skills as a fashion designer over the next few years, eventually launching a signature collection of sleek and stylish bridal apparel.
Wang rose to prominence after designing a hand-beaded ensemble for figure skater Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Wang has since created Vera Wang Made to Order, as well as an equally popular collection of sophisticated evening clothing.
Wang released her first fragrance and a much-anticipated wedding guide in 2001. Her company has grown to encompass lingerie, jewellery, home goods, and even desserts throughout the years. Wang partnered together with Kohl's, a department store operator, in 2006 to create Simply Vera, an economical brand of ready-to-wear garments. She's also partnered with Zales, David's Bridal, and Men's Wearhouse on licencing deals.
Vera Wang on Weddings, her first book, was published on October 23, 2001. She was named Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in June 2005. Wang received the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from Savannah College of Art and Design on May 27, 2006.
Wang has a great following, notably in Hollywood, thanks to his ability to combine modern designs with classic elegance. Halle Berry, Goldie Hawn, Charlize Theron, Anjelica Huston, and Meg Ryan are among the high-profile actresses who have worn her designs to film premieres and award ceremonies.
Wang, arguably America's most well-known bridal gown designer, has received numerous awards for her work, including the Chinese American Planning Council's Honoree of the Year Award in 1993 and the Girl Scout Council's Woman of Distinction Award in 1994. She was elected to the renowned Council of Fashion Designers of America later that year (CFDA). Wang was named Womenswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA in 2005. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation presented the famous designer with the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award in 2019.