Vera Wang Visit Inspires Upper and Middle School Students

Vera Wang Visit Inspires Upper and Middle School Students

“Life’s an adventure if you keep your mind open,” Vera Wang told students, setting the stage for an unforgettable visit at Sacred Heart Greenwich. 

The School was abuzz with excitement and a touch of glamor when fashion designer, Vera Wang, visited to share insights from her long and legendary career. Renowned for her sophistication and trailblazing contributions to the fashion industry, Wang’s name  is synonymous with iconic bridal wear and an expansive brand that spans everything from evening gowns to eye wear, home goods to jewelry, and ready-to-wear to fragrances. Introduced by Amelia G.’28, Wang was  interviewed in the de Csepel Theater by Avery K.’24 and Anna O. ’24. 

A native New Yorker, Wang's journey is a testament to resilience and reinvention. Speaking to a rapt audience of Middle and Upper School students,and educators, Wang recounted her early aspirations as a  figure skater with Olympic dreams. However, after failing to make the US Olympic team, Wang decided to pivot and pursue art history at Sarah Lawrence University. Reflecting on this experience, Wang shared, "You are defined more by your failures than your successes."

Wang's immersion in art history, she believes, played a crucial role in shaping her design aesthetic. "You cannot move ahead as a creator unless you know the past," she emphasized, highlighting the importance of understanding history in the creative process. 

Wang’s journey continued in Paris, where her innate talent for styling photoshoots became evident. Wang forged a connection with legendary photographer Richard Avedon, leading to a recommendation to Vogue magazine. When asked about her shift from figure skating to fashion, Wang drew parallels between the shared emphasis onnse pursuit of  “a sense of excellence” in both fields. 

Embracing the roles from entry level through senior editorial and design roles at Vogue and later at Ralph Lauren, Wang stressed the significance of learning on the job and the invaluable experience gained by working with talented colleagues. More than two decades into the industry, she took the bold step of launching her first bridal shop on Madison Avenue, driven by personal frustration in finding her own wedding dress.

Throughout her conversation, Wang passionately spoke about embracing life as an adventure of spirit and mind, underscoring the importance of being open to ideas. "Designers are sponges, soaking up the cultural zeitgeist of the moment," she shared. "Fashion is a mirror that reflects culture, and the challenge is to translate culture into fashion."

Wang's inspiring message, delivered with humor and wit, resonated deeply with the students, who were reminded of their own potential and the importance of embracing individuality. "Be confident in your individuality – there is no one like you. You are special. You are you. Live your life this way. And when opportunity comes your way, step up to the plate," Wang encouraged, leaving the entire Sacred Heart Greenwich community infused with an empowered sense of purpose and a spark of inspiration. 

Sacred Heart Greenwich expresses sincere gratitude to Ms. Wang for generously sharing the wisdom garnered from her extraordinary career. Her remarkable journey serves as an inspiration, motivating students to wholeheartedly embrace their creativity, diligently pursue their passions, and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, Sacred Heart Greenwich thanks Mr. Nick Loeb P’36 for his coordination of Ms. Wang’s visit.