We love taking in nuggets of wisdom from fashion’s greatest minds, and it turns out that the Associated Press does, too. In a recent conversation with designer Vera Wang, the AP put together a list of 20 of the most important lessons Wang has learned in her 20-year career.
The designer has covered a lot of ground since getting into the business — she’s been an editor at Vogue, a designer for Ralph Lauren and, of course, has owned her own eponymous label for years. Her list draws on her depth and breadth of experience, and does not disappoint. Herein, a few of our favorite gems:
Timing is everything.
Even though her preference was for sportswear, the opportunity in fashion in the late ’80s-early ’90s was eveningwear and bridal because those were big, expensive show-stopping pieces in the spirit of Christian Lacroix. Now, Wang says, in this era of Theory and Topshop, she’d probably do the reverse and start with contemporary, everyday clothes.
Everyone deserves true fashion at any price.
No matter how much something costs — high or low — it’s an investment on the part of the shopper, and she should be getting something that looks good. Style should be democratic, Wang says.
Fashion is expressive.
Building on the shoe-attitude theory, use accessories to change your outfit depending on your mood, but keep the core pieces classic. Change proportions, wear fine jewelry with T-shirts or a chunky necklace with a gown, she advises. But then keep those pieces and wear them a new way next year.
“Twenty years ago, fashion was all about rules: You wore a pump to a luncheon and a certain Hermes bag. Now it’s about what works for you — be preppy, downtown or Goth, or be all of those on a given day.”
You’re not always successful.
“I had to learn to dust myself off and try again. That’s my real story. I went to Vogue and I was not getting the big jobs and then I went to Ralph Lauren. I didn’t feel like there was much more I could do at the time there — and I think that’s given me the opportunity to struggle. You have to struggle to appreciate the successes in your life. It’s not real otherwise.”
You are only as good as your team.
No one can do it all, Wang says, herself included. Fashion is not unlike a team sport, where there are a handful of people who get the glory, but it took many to get them where they are.
Teamwork, timing, keeping your cool. It all sounds like sage advice to us. Read the rest here.
[Via The Times Union]