Vera Wang established the design company that is her namesake in 1990. Wang, born June 27, 1949 to an affluent New York family, discovered her love for fashion while attending the Sorbonne in France. She returned to the US to become American Vogue’s youngest ever fashion editor at age 23. Wang left the magazine in 1985 after losing the editor-in-chief position to Anna Wintour and went on to become Design Director of women’s accessories at Ralph Lauren. She opened her own fashion salon at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Madison Avenue five years later, an establishment lit by the remarkably modern flair that would be become a trademark of her bridal gown designs. She has since developed her name into a powerful high fashion brand, designing bridal gowns and other pieces for numerous celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, and Charlize Theron. In 2005 Vera was awarded Womenswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).
Like the simple elegance of her wedding gowns, Vera’s first fragrance, introduced in 2002 in partnership with Unilever Cosmetics International, is simply called Vera Wang. An exotic and feminine scent featuring notes of mandarin, lotus and iris, it was designed with brides in mind. It has been followed by Vera Wang for men in 2004, the sweeter scent of Princess in 2006, and this year’s Truly Pink, a sensual floral fragrance of freesia and rose.
Vera Wang remains chairwoman, owner and CEO of her company. Her partner and head of the company’s licensing division is Laura Lee Miller, the one time Unilever executive M Miller that made the deal with Vera for the fragrance line bearing her name. Under Miller’s care Vera Wang branding has exploded. From wedding fashion basics like jewelry, eye wear and shoes to post-wedding lifestyle choices like chinaware, stationary, even mattresses by Serta and flowers by FTD.com. Vera’s most outlandish project has been coupling with Las Vegas based casino developer Eight Wonder to design hotel suites under the Vera Wang name. She has also signed a contract with middle-end department store Kohl’s for a ready-to-wear, affordable, but still fashionable clothing line due out this fall.
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