June 27, 2013

Guest Post: Happy Birthday Vera Wang!

Today figure skater turned fashion mogul Vera Wang turns 64. A figure skater from the age of six, Vera was the New York born daughter of Chinese immigrants to the United States. She was educated at such prestigious institutions as the Chapin School, University of Paris, and Sarah Lawrence College. After competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1968 and an Olympic tryout, Vera began to make her way in the fashion industry.

Disappointed in the selection of bridal gowns available while planning her wedding, Wang sketched her own and hired a tailor to put together the $10,000 gown. Opening her first shop in 1990 she started by selling high-end bridal gowns by other designers, but continued to work on her own designs. After receiving international acclaim in 1994 for the costume worn by figure skater Nancy Kerrigan during the Olympics, Wang has gone on to design the wedding gowns of dozens of celebrities. Wang's design expertise isn't solely in the bridal section, however, and notables such as Michelle Obama have been seen wearing her evening wear collections.

Having expanded with stores in New York, London, Paris, Seoul, and Sydney the Vera Wang line now encompasses fragrances, jewelry, home decor, and shoes. Truly a force to be reckoned with, her keen eye for trends has led a steady rise in acclaim over the last twenty years. Featured in numerous television shows as herself, and having done the wardrobe for several movies, Vera Wang is a name known worldwide. After releasing a book entitled Vera Wang on Weddings she was awarded the prestigious title of Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) in 2001. A few years later she received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from Savannah College of Art and Design. The awards didn't stop there, for her contributions to the figure skating scene she was inducted into Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009 and given extra acclaim for her fashion contributions to the sport.

Despite separating from her longtime husband Arthur Becker in 2012, and unfounded rumors surrounding her involvement with upcoming figure skater Evan Lysacek, whom she was mentoring, Vera's star has continued to shine. Far from the meteoric rise to fame so often seen in so public an industry, Vera Wang's success is entirely due to equal helpings of business savvy, keen fashion sense, and a seemingly instinctive knack for navigating the whims of the fashion conscious. This year, as Wang turns 64, we honor her contributions to the industry and wish her many more years of success. Happy birthday, Vera Wang!

About the Author: Spencer Blohm is a culture and lifestyle blogger for DirectTV who frequently explores the areas of fashion and design. He enjoys exploring the diverse world of fashion in addition to other cultural topics. He lives in the north side of Chicago with his bowtie wearing rabbit Mr. Bunny.

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