Evening Gowns BiographySource(Google.Com.Pk)
Vera Ellen Wang was born in New York City, New York, to Cheng Ching Wang and Florence Wang on June 27, 1949. Her father, who spoke fluent English, was the son of a Chinese general. Her mother was the daughter of a Chinese politician, alleged to be a warlord. The couple had fled China after World War II, eventually marrying and settling in New York City. The Wangs also had a son, Kenneth, who was born 18 months after Vera.
Although Wang's father was the head of a multi-million dollar company which allowed his family an affluent lifestyle, the children were not given a free ride. Wang's parents instilled basic goals and values in their children. They encouraged them to pursue academic and athletic excellence, and to have integrity in what they did.
Wang's mother was considered a beautiful woman with excellent taste. She taught her daughter about style, and they enjoyed going to Paris fashion shows together. As noted on the official Vera Wang website, "Wang's fashion sense … came early in life."
Gave Up Skating for Fashion
In addition to clothes and ballet lessons, Wang loved ice skating. After receiving a pair of ice skates one Christmas, she began ice skating lessons at the age of eight. Always the competitor, she won her first regional championship at 12. Wang was usually on the ice by six o'clock in the morning so she could practice before school. Her day usually ended with more practice. As Wang shared in the A & E Biography video "Vera Wang: Attention to Detail," "ice skating was the first love of [my] life."
After completing high school, Wang enrolled at the Sarah Lawrence College. However, balancing school and ice skating became too much for her. There was not enough time to study and train, and this led to the greatest disappointment of her life; she chose to give up ice skating. As noted by A & E Biography, Wang recalled that after making this decision, she became depressed and moved to Paris. It was there that she seriously considered pursuing a career in fashion. Wang returned to school and earned a degree in art history in 1971, but a career in fashion was her dream.
Paid Dues in Fashion Industry
Wang's first job in fashion was at Vogue as an assistant to fashion director Polly Mellen. Wang took the opportunity to study and learn all she could about the fashion industry. Her hard work quickly paid off; Wang was named fashion editor at Vogue at the age of 23. She primarily served as "sittings" editor, the person in charge of the editorial fashion spreads that made up the heart of the magazine.
The work and the lifestyle were intense. Wang often worked seven days a week, and had little time for romance. She did enjoy the party scene, and went to Studio 54, a New York City hotspot in the late 1970s. However, Wang's work was not focused on design, and by the mid-1980s, she was ready for a change. A tired Wang took a leave of absence from Vogue and went to Paris for two years. Deciding she wanted to do something different, Wang left Vogue after 16 years, and in 1987, went to work for Ralph Lauren, where she was a designer for accessories.
Search for Dress Led to New Business
With a less frenzied pace at Ralph Lauren, Wang had more time for a personal life. She had met her future husband, businessman Arthur Becker, in 1980, at a tennis match. Wang shared with People Weekly that soon after they met, Becker started talking marriage, but she wanted to focus on her career. The pair dated off and on in the 1980s and were good friends. However, in the late 1980s, romance blossomed and the couple became engaged. Wang began to plan their wedding.
As Wang shared with A & E Biography, she went on a search for a perfect wedding dress and found a "sameness to everything." She told Jane Sharp of Biography Magazine, "I wanted something more elegant and subdued, but there wasn't anything. I realized the desire to fill that niche."
Forbes writer Lisa Coleman noted that Wang spent three months "looking for the perfect dress at several department stores and bridal boutiques" but felt the dresses were geared for the younger bride. Coleman continued that eventually, "Wang gave up and hired a dressmaker to create her own gown. The gown cost $10,000." Wang's experience became the inspiration for a new business venture.
However, the business idea had to wait. Wang and Becker married in June of 1989 and, according to A&E Biography, the 40-year-old bride began infertility treatments, as the couple wanted to have a baby right away. But soon, the infertility treatments took their toll, and Wang decided to quit her job at Ralph Lauren. The couple eventually adopted two daughters, Cecilia and Josephine, and set up their home in New York City.