From ready-to-wear to bridal, designer Vera Wang is an icon in the fashion industry—but it is her Simply Vera Vera Wang line, now celebrating its first decade, that gives her the freedom to dress women all across America.
Designer Vera Wang celebrates the 10th anniversary of her Simply Vera Vera Wang collection.
Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Simply Vera Vera Wang and the 10-piece celebratory collection. What makes this line different from your ready-to-wear and bridal collections? VERA WANG: The Simply Vera Vera Wang collection is really about my own personal style. I am well-known for being a leggings and T-shirt girl, a skater and a dancer, and I work in a design studio. So much of the way I dress is about practicality and comfort. As a woman designing for women, I know what it feels like to wear clothes—for men it’s more abstract. Clothing needs to be comfortable, and women are most beautiful when they’re comfortable. In each of our companies there are different goals. Simply Vera Vera Wang is a lifestyle brand.
What is the lifestyle? VW: It is very tomboy but also feminine—there is a sophisticated dichotomy between the two. It’s always having an edge, something that is not quite regular. The pieces can, of course, be worn together or fit into your existing wardrobe. You can invest in something costly that you mix in with one of our Japanese-inspired prints so there is a mixture of style and price point. That is a lifestyle brand in its truest sense.
You are known for mixing texture and volume, feminine details, knits and embellishments. I think that women are savvy today and have a lot to choose from. I try to provide a fashion component regardless of age. Women are not dictated to as to how to dress, but more encouraged to explore. There are different kinds of women, and sometimes we are many types in one day. Sometimes you want to dress tomboy and grunge, other times more controlled and some days sexier. We have to be given options to express ourselves.
Do you create your Simply Vera Vera Wang collection with yourself in mind or do you have a muse? VW: My personal style guides me. In the film I made when I was honored by France’s Légion d’Honneur, I skated and danced in it myself. I think I was almost athleisure before athleisure existed. I have an incredibly active life and designing is very physical, so I use how I dress as a foundation for the things I love. I like layering pieces, leather sleeves on a sweatshirt and outerwear, because I use them in my life. There needs to be contrast, and no one can dictate that for me but myself.
What are three pieces you cannot live without from the 10th anniversary collection? VW: The pleated metallic/gunmetal skirt, the decorated sweatshirt and the fake-fur boa—it is the perfect accessory for winter.
As you look to the next 10 years, where do you see the focus? VW: In terms of Kohl’s, we’ll keep moving and pushing and adding innovation. I am not a lazy designer. I am someone who is passionate, and I put a lot of pressure on myself. It’s difficult, but what would you be in design if you were not motivated by that?