If you have any interest in the world of fashion, Vera Wang is a name you’ve probably heard before. Her stunning breathtaking bridal dresses, red carpet gowns, and other gorgeous designs have shaped her into the multi-millionaire she is today. Vera Wang is one of the richest self-made women with a $650 million net worth! This fashion mogul has thrived in the industry for nearly 50 years.
Vera Wang Net Worth: $650 Million
Vera Ellen Wang was born in New York City on June 27, 1949. Her parents were wealthy immigrants who grew up in Shanghai, China. They moved to the United States in the 1940s, then gave birth to Vera soon after.
Vera lived a pretty luxurious life and fell in love with fashion at a young age. She talks about going to fashion shows in Paris with her mother, who was a translator at the United Nations. Her father was an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry. She watched him grow his company, which likely inspired her and helped teach her how to be an entrepreneur.
Sadly, her father passed away in 2003.
College & Figure Skating
Vera Wang’s education began at the Chapin School, an all-girls day school in New York. After graduating, she attended Sarah Lawrence College as well as the University of Paris. She got a degree in art history.
Before she fell in love with fashion, Vera was passionate about figure skating. She began skating at age 8 and dreamed of competing in the Olympics. She competed in the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships but did not make the US Olympics team.
Emerging in the Fashion Industry
Climbing the Ladder
After graduating from college and giving up her figure skating dreams, Vera Wang turned to fashion. She wanted to go to school for fashion, but her father told her to get a job instead.
In 1970, she got a job with Vogue Magazine as a temporary assistant, then worked her way up to Senior Fashion Editor. She became one of the magazine’s youngest ever fashion editors! Her role involved interacting with the world’s leading designers. As you might imagine, she learned a great amount about the fashion industry and made valuable connections.
In 1987, she left Vogue when someone else nabbed the editor-in-chief position. Next, she took a position as Design Director for Ralph Lauren in 1987.
Pictured: Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren these days, both fashion icons.
Starting Her Billion Dollar Label
Her time at Ralph Lauren didn’t last long – in 1990, she took off on her own. At Vera Wang’s age of 40, she was still going strong and had high ambitions to start her own company.
She was very lucky to receive a start-up fund of $4 million from her father. Most of us need to figure out how to raise capital for business on our own! With this fund, she rented a two-story showroom and a boutique on Madison Avenue in New York City. In September of 1990, Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd. opened its doors to the world. This was just a year after Vera Wang’s husband and she got married.
Marketing wasn’t an issue for Vera. Her colleagues at Vogue devoted a six-page article to her opening, which drove plenty of brides to her boutique. Her most successful business strategy was to rely on word of mouth from her industry connections.
Vera Wang’s knowledge of figure skating didn’t let her down. In 1994, silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan wore Vera Wang’s unique design in the Olympics. After this, more figure skaters wanted her designs – she has created unique figure skating dresses for Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, and more.
Vera Wang Today
Vera Wang’s net worth in 2019 continues to grow due to her licensing deals with Zales, Kohl’s, and David’s Bridal. These partnerships allow her designs to have a larger reach. Kohl’s carries her Simply Vera line, WHITE by Vera Wang is at David’s Bridal, and the Vera Wang LOVE jewelry collection, available at Zales.
Her brand has expanded to many other collections – fragrance, eyewear, lingerie, jewelry, and even a large home line! New collections filled with unique designs debut every season, featured in her boutiques and runway shows. For her wedding dresses, prices vary. The cheaper lines cost about $700 a dress, but spendier dresses start at $3,500. A custom-made Vera Wang dress can run you over $10,000!
Although her current salary remains unrevealed to the media, it must be generous considering the high net worth of Vera Wang.
Vera Wang has dressed many celebrities for their wedding days and red carpet events. She has designed for stars including Mariah Carey, Ivanka Trump, Kim Kardashian, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Obama, Sofia Vergara, and many more.
Her brand has grown incredibly over the years. The official Vera Wang Instagram has racked up over 2 million followers and Twitter has nearly 1 million! She has boutiques in more than 10 cities around the world.
Vera Wang On Weddings
Another addition to Vera Wang’s net worth portfolio is her book called Vera Wang On Weddings. She shares her thoughts, ideas, and visions of weddings. The book shares information about every aspect of the wedding day (especially how to pick your dress)! It’s not too popular of a book, but her knowledge definitely useful for people interested.
Family & Personal Life
Wang is currently single and living in New York City. She and Arthur P. Becker, a computer executive, divorced after 26 years or marriage. They got married when Wang was 39 and adopted two Eurasian daughters, Cecilia and Josephine. Their divorce was finalized in 2015. Wang states that Arthur still remains a big part of her life after the divorce, and is still involved in her business.
Pictured: Vera Wang and now ex-husband Arthur P. Becker.
Vera Wang’s daughters were adopted because she was 40 when she got married. They decided they wanted kids, but figured they should adopt to avoid any complications.
Wang states it’s a miracle she got married!
“I was the girl who nobody thought would ever get married. I was going to be a fashion nun the rest of my life. There are generations of them, those fashion nuns, living, eating, breathing clothes.” – Vera Wang
In her free time, Wang can be found helping with the New York-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center.
Are Vera Wang and Alexander Wang related?
Many people wonder if the two fashion designers are related, but the answer is no – this is just a coincidence.
Wang has been honored with a number of awards for her achievements and expertise.
- 1993 Chinese American Planning Council's Honoree of the Year Award
- 1994 Girl Scout Council's Woman of Distinction Award
- Later in 1994, she was elected as a member of the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
- In 2005, Wang was selected as the Womenswear Designer of the Year.
- The U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame enshrined Wang for her remarkable contribution to the fashion industry.
What Does Wang Spend Her Fortune On?
Beverly Hills Paradise
When you’re worth nearly $1 billion, who wouldn’t have expensive taste? Vera Wang’s house in Los Angeles definitely reflects her taste.
Vera Wang’s glass home in Beverly Hills was purchased in 2011 for close to $10 million. The 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom paradise is incredible. The open-plan main living space has huge windows, walls of glass, white terrazzo floors, and 12-foot ceilings. Let’s not forget the incredible views of Los Angeles.
It has a sleek kitchen with Euro-style cabinets and appliances, a huge family room with more glass walls, and a home theater that can seat thirty viewers. The home also showcases a relaxing infinity pool in the backyard. Vera Wang’s children must love this home!
You might think she plans to live in this gorgeous house, but nope – she still lives in New York City. She purchased her Beverly Hills home in order to have a place to unwind from work and the craziness of Manhattan.
Living with Billionaires in New York City
Vera Wang reportedly lives in an expensive unit at 740 Park Ave, which is packed with celebrities and wealthy billionaires. This complex has some of the highest real estate prices in New York City. Sadly, we haven’t been able to find pictures of her unit. It must be incredible though!
That concludes the tale of how Vera Wang’s net worth was built over the past few decades. Although it took her quite some time to build her empire, she has definitely enjoyed the success that came with all the hard work. We look forward to seeing future designs that Vera comes up with!