Designer Highlight: Vera Wang

Designer of the Week-Vera Wang

Our designer of the week goes to Vera Wang. Who hasn’t heard of a Vera Wang wedding gown? Born and raised in New York City, and of Chinese descent, her parents were born in China and came to the United States in the 1940’s. She earned a degree in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College. Before that she began figure skating at the age of eight and competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championships. She was featured in Sports Illustrated Faces In The Crowd in January 9, 1968. When she failed to make the US Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry.

After graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, Wang was hired to be an editor at Vogue (she was the youngest editor at Vogue). She was there for 17 years. She left in 1987 to join Ralph Lauren for two years. At 40, she resigned to become an independent bridal wear designer. The rest is history! Besides her bridal gowns, Wang has designed costumes for figure skaters including Nancy Kerrigan, and Michelle Kwan, to name a few. Wang was inducted in the the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009 for her contribution to the sport as a costume designer.

Many celebrities have worn her gowns on the red carper from Viola Davis to Sophia Vergara. Vera Wang has been recognized by many including the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 and was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Award in 2013. What a long and magnificent career she has had and continues to have.

Follow her on IG@: verawanggang

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Photo Credit: www.wedding-venue.co.uk and www.henkerman.com.au

Designer Highlight: Galatea Berger

Galatea Designs

Our designer of the week goes to Galatea Berger. What’s in a name ? This is the real name of the magnificent jeweler Galatea Berger but you probably don’t know it’s meaning. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, is about a mortal who sculpted a statue so beautiful he fell in love with it. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love took pity on the lovesick artist and brought to life the exquisite sculpture, which was named Galatea.

The name Galatea Designs carries connotations of striking visual appeal and a man’s love for a woman. You will definitely fall in love with Galatea’s exquisite jewelry designs. From a simple engagement solitaire, to more ornate designs,  she creates from precious stones and metals. After attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Galatea’s early designs were the focus of attention while she worked in a local financial institution. Many customers were dropping in just to see what she was wearing. She began selling jewelry way before she opened her own business.

Known originally as “ Jewelry and Gift Exchange” when founded in 1985, Galatea Designs quickly secured reputable and reliable contacts with jewelry manufactures. From its inception, it has offered a superior line of jewelry designs and personalized jewelry creations. Galatea Designs serves men and women with refined taste. They work by appointment only which allows customers to select a diamond or consider the design of their jewelry in a more relaxed setting, free from distraction, which permits Galatea to give you her undivided attention.

Follow her on Instagram: @galateadesigns

Photo credit: Galatea Berger

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

 

 

Designer Highlight: Diane von Furstenberg

Best known for her iconic “wrap dress”, you have not lived until you own one! Diane Simone Michelle Hafflin was born in Brussels, Belgium to Jewish parents.  Eighteen months before Diane was born, her mother was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. She credits her mother with being a great influence in her life. Her mother taught her that fear is not an option.

After studying Economics at the University of Geneva, she moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer agent Albert Koski. She then moved to Italy to be an apprentice for the textile manufacturer, Angela Ferretti. In his factory warehouse, she learned about cut, color, and fabric. It was there she designed and produced her first silk jersey dress.

Shortly after her marriage to Prince Egon von Furstenberg, she decided she wanted a career of her own and not just to be a plain little girl who married beyond her “desserts “. After separating from her husband in 1973, she moved to New York and met Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who said her designs were absolutely smashing.

In 1974, she introduced her knitted jersey wrap dress. After the success of the wrap dress, Furstenberg was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1976 and was declared the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel. She has gone on to launch a cosmetic line, fragrances, and a home shopping business to name a few. Many celebrities have worn her clothes from Madonna to Michelle Obama.

You have not lived, until you have worn this iconic wrap dress!! here are 45 free standing shops world-wide.

Follow her on Instagram: @DVF

Photo credit: DFV.com

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Designer Highlight: Gamili E Collections

Born in Brooklyn New York, as a young child, Gamili was inspired by her mother who was a professional seams tress and introduced Gamili to an artist’s way of life. By the time she was in the eight grade, she already knew that she wanted to be a fashion designer. This occurred to her after working on a project for home economics where she had to draw clothes for females and males.

Her first professional design showcase was 2014. Creating is her favorite aspect of designing and she is passionate about bringing her ideas to life. Music has been her biggest inspiration from everything from Hip Hop to Jazz.  The Gamili E Collection celebrates the female form and represents women who dare to be a fashion statement. Her favorite era of fashion is the 1940’s. It is a representation of class, sex appeal, and confidence.

Her ultimate goal is to become a fashion legend and she wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Coco Chanel, Diane Von Fustenberg, and Christian Dior to name a few.                                                                        

Follow her on IG: @gamili_e

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Instagram: @gamili_e

DESIGNER HIGHLIGHT: KYEMAH MCENTYRE

Kyemah McEntyre is a young women who became widely known for her prom dress design that ” broke the internet”. The African print prom dress created a fashion moment. She said she initially wanted to wear her African inspired dress to the prom to send a message to other teens that it’s ok to be yourself and that natural beauty is to be loved and admired. That prom night, she got lots of attention and was crowned prom queen.

The East Orange, New Jersey native was in high school at the time! The following fall, she enrolled in the fashion school, Parsons School of Design. Shortly after, she caught the attention of actress/singer Naturi Naughton who called on Kyemah to design a dress for the 2015 BET Awards, where she wore the beautiful form fitting dress. She also designed a dress for the legendary model and TV host, Tyra Banks. Tyra wore the design on an episode of ABC’s FABlife.

The Mind of Kye brand is where art and fashion meet. Kyemah has a profound love for Black women, art, history and how the subjects interact with society. In a short time, Kyemah has proven to be one of the most innovative and talented artists and designers of the millennium.

You can follow her at: IG :@MindOfKye

Photo credit: popsugar.com, i.d.vice.com

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

DESIGNER HIGHLIGHT-STELLA JEAN

mailto:IG@stellajean Stella Jean is the first black Italian designer. She was born and raised in Rome to a Haitian mother and Italian father. While studying Political Science at Sapiensa University in Rome, she dropped out to model for Egon von Furstenburg (ex-husband to Diane von Furstenburg). This is when she realized that she would rather make clothes than wear them.

 

    Her designs reflect her Creole heritage and she often works with Haitian and African artisans incorporating their work into her fashion. Through her use of native crafts people, she seeks to support struggling countries and communities and preserve their ancestral arts and traditions.

 

    In 2019, she was highlighted by the New York Times as the most convincing of all the New Gen designers in Milan! She has also collaborated on shoes with Christian Louboutin for her AW14 collection, which featured her first menswear collection. Her brand is based in Rome but is also stocked in specialty boutiques worldwide such as The Corner, Mode Operandi, and Farfetch to name a few.    

Celebrities such as Rihanna and Beyonce wear her designs.

IG@ stellajean_sj_