The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Please help us cover our annual website operations cost! The Jackson-Reed Beacon is a fully independent, student run newspaper that receives all of its operational costs from generous donations.

AAPI icon: Vera Wang

FASHION MOGUL - Vera Wang owns a high end
successful bridal gown boutique.
Britannica
FASHION MOGUL – Vera Wang owns a high end successful bridal gown boutique.

The long, flowing, dark brown hair and young face that graced the Met Gala red carpet, in a long bedazzled dress complete with a black tulle bottom belongs to none other than the 74-year-old Vera Wang. Wang is among the most accomplished designers of our time. Her dresses have appeared at the Met Gala, Oscars, Emmys, and so many more red carpets. She not only dresses celebrities for the red carpet, she dresses them for the biggest day of their life: their wedding day. 

Vera Ellen Wang was born in New York City in 1949 to Chinese immigrant parents. At the age of eight, she began figure skating. While in high school, she paired up with fellow figure skating New Yorker James Stuart and together, they competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating championship. Wang was then featured in Sports Illustrated in the January 9, 1968 issue. When she failed to make the American Olympic Figure Skating team, she transitioned to the world of fashion. 

Wang attended Sarah Lawrence College, earning a degree in art history. Upon graduating, she was hired at Vogue, making her the youngest editor of the magazine. After a stellar 17 years in charge of the magazine’s editorial fashion spreads, she moved over to Ralph Lauren where she designed accessories. Just two short years later, Wang left Ralph Lauren to pursue her dreams of designing. 

After leaving Ralph Lauren, Wang opened a couture bridal store, Vera Wang Bridal House in New York City. In the beginning years of her business, Vera only sold bridal dresses from other designers. However, when she added her own bridal dress designs, they quickly overshadowed the other gowns and her shop began to exclusively sell her designs. Twenty years after opening her first bridal boutique, Wang was awarded the Leadership in the Arts Award by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association.

In the early 2000s, Wang began designing bridesmaid dresses to accompany her gowns. Wang also began creating the outfits of figure skaters, most notably Michelle Kwan, Nancy Kerrigan, Evan Lysacek, and Nathan Chen. Wang famously said: “I never made the Olympics. But my dresses did.” For her contributions in the skating world, Wang was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009.

Most recently, she won the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Joe Biden in 2023. Wang continues to design, having created gowns worn by Michelle Obama, Ariana Grande, Zendaya, and so many more stars. She has redesigned how the world views fashion with her level of attention and elegance that comes with each dress. She may not be present at each red carpet or wedding aisle in the world, but her dresses have been and will continue to be among the most sought out designs.

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