Ice Queen

To celebrate the launch of Selvedge 82, The Lace Issue, here's a special preview of Kate Cavendish's take on the life and work of Vera Wang...

Vera Wang's story is as fabled as her exquisite wedding dresses: after almost 20 years in the editorial and accessories divisions of the fashion world, she designed her own bridal gown and launched her signature label that has elevated the traditional garment into a high-fashion event.

A native New Yorker,Wang grew up on the Upper East Side with her Chinese immigrant parents: her father was a businessman and her mother was a translator for the United Nations. She studied ballet and trained to become an Olympic figure skater in hope of making the 1968 team before an injury intervened. Instead, she was presented to society that winter at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf.

As a child, Wang enjoyed trips to Paris with her mother, who educated young Vera in fashion: a memorable pair of leather Mary Janes at age 6; an Yves Saint Laurent couture show later. Paris, where Wang later studied art history, honed her eye and style. She wanted to go to design school but her father famously told her to ‘get a job’. Upon graduating from Sarah Lawrence in 1971, she worked at Saint Laurent in sales before joining Vogue as an assistant, being promoted to fashion editor – the youngest there – the following year...

You can read this article in full in Selvedge 82, The Lace Issue.

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