When it comes to bridal wear today, one of the most prominent names that will come into mind is Vera Wang. She managed to turn a single bridal boutique into a fashion empire that is worth more than a $1 billion. However, her road to success was not that smooth. She had to endure a lot of hardships before she managed to become one of the top designers in the world today.
Her Olympic Dream
As a child, Vera Wang didn’t dream of becoming a famous fashion designer. Her goal at that time was to join the US Olympic team as a figure skater. Her day often starts at six in the morning so that she can get a round of practice before she goes to school. And by the age of 12, she won her first regional championship.
Even with all the practice and intensive competition, she failed to qualify as a member of the 1968 Olympic team. But she did learn a valuable life lesson as a skater, and that is to pick oneself up when you fall down and start again. She was already in her late teens, and she realised that she already reached the peak of her skating skills. There were also younger and better skaters coming up the ranks, and that’s why she quit her skating career.
Ventures into the Fashion Industry
After leaving ice skating behind, she ventured into fashion. She wanted to go into design school, but her father said she should get a job. And so after her junior year in college, she worked at the Yves Saint Laurent boutique in Madison Avenue. It was while working there when she met Frances Patiky Stein, who was then one of the fashion directors of Vogue. Stein told Wang to call her after Wang graduated from college. Two years later, Wang finished college, called Stein and got an interview.
Vera Wang was hired by Vogue as a temporary assistant and managed to become the youngest fashion editor of her time. She spent 15 years in the magazine and worked with the best hairstylists, makeup artists, and photographers.
In 1987, Vera Wang left Vogue because she failed to get the editor-in-chief position. She was hired by Ralph Lauren as a design director. Two years later, she got the idea of starting a bridal boutique while planning her own wedding.
Vera Wang opened the Bridal House Ltd. in 1990, and the rest is history. Because she didn’t have any background in the bridal industry, she brought fashion to it and revolutionised the designs.
But she didn’t stop there. After establishing herself as one of the best bridal wear designers, she also ventured into ready-to-wear. She has managed to create her own brand and got a lot of licensing agreements.
At present, Vera is not just a bridal wear company. It is a lifestyle brand that covers everything from clothing, sleepwear, jewellery, cosmetics, perfume, home, shoes, and accessories. She is careful in choosing partners and suppliers to protect her brand name.