After sixteen years at Vogue as Senior Fashion Director, followed by a gig at Ralph Lauren as a design director, Vera Wang was frustrated to find no fashion in the bridal industry. All she could find were traditional dresses that lacked sophistication. So she did what any reasonable woman with a rolodex full of high-powered fashion insiders would do; she designed her own bridal line.
Vera Wang opened a luxury salon in 1990, showcasing her new bridal collection. But the elegance, detailing, and freshness of her line quickly won her kudos from the world at large, and a wedding dress superstar was born. In 1994, a simple white skating dress with illusion sleeves worn by Nancy Kerrigan made her a household name. (A life-long athlete who has competed in international skating competitions, Vera Wang continues to design costumes for Olympic skaters such as Michelle Kwan.)
Vera Wang was raised by Chinese-American affluent parents in New York, attending the prestigious prep-school Chapin, followed by Sarah Lawrence College and the Sorbonne. Her mother was the prime influence on her design style, and regularly took her to Paris to see the fashion shows.
Today, Vera Wang is perhaps the best known wedding dress designer in the business. She has expanded her brand to include fragrance, jewelry, eyewear, shoes, and a home collection with Wedgewood, all touched by her luxurious and sophisticated style. She continues to live in New York City with her husband, Arthur Becker, and their two daughters.
What Celebrities Have Worn Vera Wang Wedding Dresses?
Most notably, Jennifer Lopez wore Vera Wang’s off-the shoulder ruffled lace dress for her surprise marriage to Marc Anthony in June 2004. But she is far from the only bride to wear Vera Wang. From Jessica Simpson’s meringue wedding dress to Sharon Stone’s pale-pink chiffon wedding dress, this designer is continuously the choice of celebrities. Other celebrities wearing Vera Wang on their wedding day include Uma Thurman, Mariah Carey, Holly Hunter, and Karenna Gore.
What is a Vera Wang Wedding Dress Like?
In the tradition of Paris couture, she uses rich fabrics, luxurious details such as hand beading, and the best craftsmanship. Vera Wang Wedding Dresses skirt the fine line of applying modern touches to traditional styles, avoiding both harsh modern looks and syrupy old-fashioned sweetness. As her design empire has grown, the range has also grown. Today, a bride can find everything from sweet bows to unusual tulle-backed dresses, and even dresses with wide gold lamé bands along the bottom. She tells brides that they can be sensual, and in fact, this may be where she’s had the most influence on the wedding industry. Whether traditional ball-gowns or dramatic mermaid-train dresses, her wedding dresses celebrate the body.
How Much Does a Vera Wang Wedding Dress Cost?
Vera Wang’s Luxe Collection starts at $6,000, with some dresses costing as much as $12,000 or more. However, most of her dresses range from $2000 to $7000. While certainly expensive, it’s within the range that many non-celebrity middle-class brides spend on their dresses. If this is still out-of-your budget, look at Vera Wang bisque-colored bridesmaid dresses which start at $200 and run under $1000. Other brides look for her famous sample sales in New York, where one-of-a-kind samples and stock overruns have as much as a 75% discount.