Vera Wang may have started as a figure skater, but she’s now known around the world as an American fashion designer. Wang is among the wealthiest designers and has an estimated net worth of around $600 million in 2024.

Lessons abound with the fashionista who started her fashion company at the age of 40.

Let’s explore her career and net worth, exploring her life story to see what insights we can learn from Wang’s life.

How Much is Vera Wang Worth in 2024?

  • Total Net Worth 2024: $600 million
  • Fashion Company: $500 million stake
  • Real Estate: $50 million
  • Other Investments: $50 million

6 Fun Facts About Vera Wang

  1. Figure Skating Background: Competed in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
  2. Young Vogue Editor: Became the youngest editor at Vogue at age 23.
  3. Olympic Costumes: Designed for Olympic skaters like Nancy Kerrigan.
  4. Bridal Gowns for Celebrities: Created wedding dresses for celebrities including Kim Kardashian.
  5. Late Start: Launched her fashion company at age 40.
  6. Philanthropy: Co-founded the New York–Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center.

Vera Wang Net Worth Breakdown:

Since most of Wang’s assets are held privately and not through a publicly traded company, calculating her exact net worth is impossible.

However, we’ve been able to collect plenty of public information surrounding her various sources of income, investments, assets, and business ventures to build a holistic estimate, which we break down here for you.

While we can see how wealthy and successful Wang is, she trails Italian designer Giorgio Armani in the list of richest designers in the world, who is worth up to $9 billion.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Vera Wang company stake $500 million
Real estate $50 million
Other investments $50 million
Total Net Worth $600 million

Vera Wang Net Worth: Early Life of a Fashion Legend

Vera Wang was born Vera Ellen Wang on June 27, 1949, in New York City. Her father, Cheng Ching Wang, was a graduate of Yanjing University and MIT and owned a pharmaceutical company while her mother. Florence Wu, worked as a translator for the United Nations.

vera wang childhood
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Wang started figure skating when she was just six. In 1968, she competed in the United States Figure Skating Championship and Sports Illustrated featured her in their Faces in the Crowd issue. However, the same year, Wang gave up figure skating after failing to be named to the US Olympic team.

Wang began her early education at Friends Seminary and later graduated from Chapin School. Subsequently, she attained a degree in art history from Sarah Lawrence College. Wang went to Paris University as an exchange student where she was impressed by the quality of footwear she bought and developed an interest in fashion design. Wang said of the time:

It was my first feeling of being intrigued by fashion. By clothing. By things you wear. It was raining that night and I remember looking down at my feet and I suddenly just had this awakening or something

Vera Wang Net Worth: Starting Out in Fashion

Immediately after her graduation, Wang began her career as an editor with Vogue Magazine – becoming the youngest editor in the magazine’s history.

She rose through the ranks at Vogue but left the company in 1987 after she was passed over for the role of editor-in-chief in favor of Anna Wintour.

Wang joined Ralph Lauren’s self-named company in 1987 and designed accessories for the fashion label over the following two years.

vera wang early career
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Founding Vera Wang at 40

The path Vera Wang took to become a prominent American fashion designer was quite unconventional. While getting married to computer executive Arthur Becker just before her 40th birthday, the fashion designer wasn’t able to find the perfect wedding dress.

It was her father who sensed a business opportunity in the struggle and gave her seed money to open her flagship boutique in 1990 at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. She soon opened Vera Wang Bridal House, her store for wedding gowns.

Initially, Wang was hesitant to start a business given her age and said in an interview with CNBC, “I thought maybe it’s just too late for me.”

Initially, Wang sold collections from other designers but soon enough started selling her own designs. These became so popular that her stores stopped selling merchandise from other fashion designers and exclusively sold her designs.

She rose to fame when her designs were worn by figure skater Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics. Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek are the other figure skaters that wore Wang’s designs at the Olympics.

 

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Her dresses also appeared on leading television shows like Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She released her book Vera Wang on Weddings in 2001, becoming a bestseller.

Wang continued to expand her business and designed the dress for the cheerleading team of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003.

Her bridal gowns have been worn by leading celebrities including:

  • Ivanka Trump
  • Hilary Duff
  • Mariah Carey
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Victoria Beckham

Michelle Obama and Ariana Grande are among those who have adorned Wang’s eponymous luxury brand.

She diversified from wedding dresses and started marketing other fashion products and accessories which helped fuel the sales of her brands. Forbes estimated her revenues reached $630 million in 2018.

Partnering With Global Giants

Vera Wang’s net worth has received a boost from the many partnerships she entered into with global retail giants and leading players in the fashion industry.

These include:

  • Partnering with Kohl’s in 2006 to produce a budget collection of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories, sold under the brand Simply Vera.
  • Releasing fragrances as well as a china and stemware line for British company Wedgwood.
  • Collaborating with Zales in 2011 to create a line of engagement and wedding rings along with other fashion jewelry.
  • Entering into an agreement with Men’s Wearhouse to offer tuxedos in 2012.
  • Signing a 10-year licensing deal with Barcelona-based Pronovias Group to manufacture and distribute Vera Wang Bride in the company’s stores in 2021. The same year she partnered with David’s Bridal to launch White by Vera Wang.

Vera Wang Net Worth: Other Investments and Philanthropy

Vera Wang hasn’t revealed much information about her investments in stocks, bonds, or other assets like cryptocurrencies. However, we know that she owns several properties across the world, including in the US.

Vera Wang hasn’t given away as much money as some other billionaires like Laurene Jobs or MacKenzie Scott, but her philanthropy has made major impacts on social causes.

Wang cofounded the New York–Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center which helps young people get over their anxieties.

vera wang charity event
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Wang has also been associated with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and was honored at the organization’s 2019 luncheon for her efforts.

Vera Wang’s Awards and Accolades

Wang has won several awards and accolades over the years, such as:

  • In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named her Womenswear Designer of the Year.
  • In 2006, Savannah College of Art and Design presented her with the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • In 2013, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA.
  • In 2009, Wang was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
  • In 2018, she was ranked 34th in Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women and while her rank has since dropped, she remains on the list.
  • In 2023, President Joe Biden awarded Wang with the National Medal of Arts.
vera wang joe biden
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What Can We Learn From Vera Wang’s Life?

While today Wang is among the most famous and richest designers in the world and is well-respected in the fashion world, her rise to fame wasn’t easy. As she said at the 2005 WWD Sumit, “For nearly four decades, my life has been defined — some would say consumed — by fashion.”

Her journey to the top is a lesson in the importance of both passion and hard work.

She went on to add, “But my career has been every bit as much about adversity as it has about passion, coupled with the necessary willingness to accept change.”

As a self-made millionaire, whose eponymous brand is now available in many global cities, Wang had to slog it out to succeed. We see a similar story play out in most celebrities and they achieved success with hard work and perseverance.

She went against all odds when she founded her company at 40.

In the interview with CNBC, she said, “Everyone told me not to do this and not to do that. Just because everyone’s against it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. And regret is far worse than never having tried and worse than failure.”

Her life is an example for those who want to become entrepreneurs in their later years as Wang has shown that age is just a number when it comes to building a business.

She continues to expand her business empire and says, “I think the day that I don’t want to grow will really be the day that I stop.”

Wang is famously humble and in an interview with Business of Fashion, she said that many others in the fashion industry have done better in a relatively small time. Incidentally, Tory Burch, who previously worked with Vera Wang, later started the Tory Burch brand. Her mid-luxury women’s fashion label became popular and Burch is now a billionaire.

According to Wang, “It was brick by brick, client by client, store by store. It’s been a trip of passion, but it has not been a quick trip. Nor has it been easy. And that is the truth.”