Fern Mallis puts Vera Wang on the Hot Seat at the 92nd Street Y
Fashion industry mogul and creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis along with the 92nd Street Y welcomed legendary designer Vera Wang to an intimate interview about her life and career. Sponsored by MARTINI Sparkling Wines, the event was crawling with fashion hungry industry goers and socialites, all oogling at the fashion icon and frantically scribbling notes on spiral notepads. Little white cards circulated, hearkening audience members to ask our most burning questions.
“Very few people find their dreams early in life. I found mine at 6,” said Vera Wang, reminiscing about her early training in figure skating, which tragically came to a hault after she suffered a career ending injury at 19 years old.
Subsequently, Vera Wang went on to study at the University of Paris and earned a degree at Sarah Lawrence College. Interestingly enough, she was hired by Grace Mirabella herself while working at fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, being given the position as assistant to fashion director Polly Mellen in 1972. This was followed by a move to Ralph Lauren as Design Director.
“It was like being in designer heaven,” she mused, describing the endless luxurious and very specific resources made available to designers upon request.
By age 39, in preparation for her own wedding, Vera Wang began designing wedding dresses – first for herself and then eventually opening up a boutique at the Carlyle Hotel. Her breakthrough design, though, came when she dressed Sharon Stone in champagne to don the red carpet for the Oscars.
“That really put my name on the Hollywood horizon in one fell swoop,” she said.
She went on to design Nancy Kerrigan’s outfit for the 1992 Olympics, a design that was modeled after Marilyn Monroe’s dress worn during her Happy Birthday solo to the president.
Today, Vera Wang really is a jack of all trades, dabbling into everything from every day comfort designs for Kohl’s to housewares. She even has a line of mattresses! What’s next for Vera Wang – conquering the Asian Market.
The interview was followed by a lovely champagne reception sponsored by MARTINI Sparkling Wines. Delightful little bottles of bubbly, complete with bendy straw, circulated, and guests were enamored – sipping and snapping photos of the obviously friendly Wang and Mallis.
Check out some of Vera Wangs most celebrated wedding designs in a book she wrote herself over the span of 2 years. Vera Wang on Weddings is truly an essential for any bride to be, doubling as practical and beautiful in typical Vera Wang style.