“Fashion is about self expression, it’s about being free.” – Vera Wang life at Kohl’s Corporate Headquarters
What better way to celebrate my birthday week (yes week) than seeing Vera Wang live at Kohl’s in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin?! Kevin Mansell, CEO of Kohl’s Corporation, hosted “Inside the Designers Studio” (an interesting rendition of “Inside the Actors Studio”) with Vera on Tuesday, July 28 at the Kohl’s Innovation Center. Although he was no James Lipton, Mansell was able to make the designer share some surprisingly personal information to over 4,000 Kohl’s employees. It was one Tuesday I’ll certainly never forget!
Vera was born in the lower east side of Manhattan. She grew up loving to ice skate and competed all over the world for years. She admitted that not making the Olympic team was perhaps one of her biggest failures. She attended college at Sarah Lawrence and, although dropping out twice, managed to graduate with a degree in studio art. She then spent 17 years at American Vogue and later joined Ralph Lauren as a design director. Finally, in 2007 she made an amazing decision to form a partnership with Kohl’s and introduce her new line Simply Vera.
Vera explained to all of us that she chose Kohl’s because it gave her the opportunity to make clothes that she would want to wear. She said that what makes fashion relevant is seeing it on real people in real time and that some clothing is so ostentatious that no real person can actually understand it. “I don’t think women should be tortured by clothes” she said. Ultimately, Vera strives to let customers express themselves in their own ways by giving them the essential pieces.
It was so refreshing to hear Vera’s take on the fashion industry. Her humble and witty personality kept all of us laughing. I am so honored to have her on our team at Kohl’s and it was clear to see that she was happy to have us as well. Below I’ve included some of my favorite pieces from her Simply Vera collection—and guess what? They’re all ON SALE!