As Kohl’s continues to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we chatted with our very own Simply Vera Vera Wang designer, Vera Wang, on heritage, diversity, and her legacy as a designer.
Q: We all have unique experiences and perspectives. How has your background and heritage influenced your work and designs?
I’ve always felt so fortunate to have enjoyed a bicultural upbringing. It fused my private Chinese experience with my public American one and with those elements I have carved out a life filled with freedom, openness, energy and optimism balanced by hard work and discipline.
Q. You've been a partner of Kohl's for over 10 years. What about Kohl's values, associates and customers has helped the relationship endure?
There is such a sense of the best of American values in my long-term partnership with Kohl’s… from executives, merchants, and dedicated staff to my loyal customers all across America, Kohl’s represents a certain stability, respect, and value for its audience as well as a true regard for easy, relevant fashion with a specific modern lifestyle in mind. Simply Vera Vera Wang is about women who enjoy an active, positive, and involved life, as well as a love for “real” wearable fashion.
Q: What has been your experience with diversity in the fashion industry? How has that impacted your journey?
The definition of diversity in fashion has changed throughout the years. Thanks to a more fluid, open, and evolved world, the complex issues of diversity are again being addressed for the better in every segment of our industry. Fashion is becoming even more accessible, and like the diversity of body types, lifestyles, and ethnicities, fashion is becoming more and more exciting, creative, and personal.
Q. How does your heritage influence your brand aesthetic?
I think that my double heritage has enabled me to always feel respect for other women, and people in general, while enjoying enormous creative freedom to pursue my love for fashion and hopefully bringing a certain happiness and sense of fun to women’s lives.
Q. After decades of designing gowns, apparel, accessories, jewelry, shoes and more, how has your design process and finding inspiration changed over the years?
Fortunately, my passion and respect for design has never wavered. That curiosity, and appreciation for relevance began with my days as a magazine editor to my career designing red carpet and wedding gowns, to my incredible opportunity to create a wonderful lifestyle brand for Kohl’s. Dressing and styling women has been my life’s work. Inspiration is what keeps me engaged.
Q: What do you want your legacy as a designer to be?
I would love to be remembered and respected as someone who not only “lived” fashion but also became a part of so many women’s lives. I hope I encouraged women to enjoy fashion as a part of their daily lives, not just the watershed moments. Fashion should bring a bit of joy, fun and creativity to all women. Simply Vera Vera Wang enables me to reach women all across America. That is a huge honor.