Vera Wang launched her brand in 1990, a year after her own wedding, with a prestigious Madison Avenue address on New York City's Upper East Side. She opened Bridal House Ltd., as it was called at the time, because she noticed something was missing from bridal gowns during her own wedding planning: Art.
Tamara Albu, an associate professor of fashion design at Parsons The New School of Design, said Wang revolutionized the way people looked at the wedding gown; she upped the sophistication and made the gown an expression of a state of mind, not just a marker of a special occasion.
"She understands women who embrace fashion. In her case, she markets the wedding gown as a personification of love and beauty, not herself," she said.
Wang's empire has grown into a multitiered, multimillion-dollar effort, a marriage of ready-to-wear and sportswear, as well as bedding, eyewear, fragrance, stationery, luggage, footwear, tableware and flower collections.
Ivanka Trump, Chelsea Clinton and Victoria Beckham are just a few of the influential people who have said "I do" donning Vera Wang.
Nowadays, designers sell a lifestyle, and with it, their clothes and accessories. Diane von Furstenberg is renowned for her iconic wrap dress and signature prints for the ever-sassy career woman -- embodying the DVF label. Donatella Versace is synonymous with over-the-top prints and unabashed sexiness, fitting for her brand's Miami jet-set look.
For Wang, it was romanticism.
"Vera Wang is a magnificent designer who has created a unique aspirational world that alludes to sensuality and youthful sophistication. Exquisite details, intricate draping and a nonchalant sense of style characterize the Vera Wang aesthetic," Albu said.
"Vera sells a lifestyle beyond the wedding. The dream she sells is that of an ambitious, driven, determined woman destined for success. She is often photographed and interviewed alone without mention or sight of her husband," Molly R. Leis, who owns the retail marketing firm MRL Communications.