Vera Wang talks bridal inspiration, how she applies fashion sense to wedding style

(CBS News) The name Vera Wang seems synonymous with weddings these days, with many women dreaming of walking down the aisle in a gown bearing the iconic fashion designer's name. But the high-end designer wasn't always interested in bridal fashions. In fact, she was once a fashion writer for Vogue and only got interested in wedding fashions when it was her turn to wear white.

The Wedding Planner blog

In 1989, Wang fashioned her own wedding gown when she was frustrated with the slim selection then available in stores. After hiring a tailor to create her own reportedly $10,000 design, she went on to open her own bridal boutique that early-on featured exclusive designers, and then eventually, her own. Though she's now separated from her husband, she reminisced on "CTM" about the start of her bridal design career, saying, "I came in with no knowledge -- I came in with knowledge of fashion -- but I had no knowledge of bridal per se. So I think I brought a certain freedom, and maybe a rule-breaking kind of without even knowing it. And it was just sort of instinctive. It was whatever I felt. And what I thought girls should want to wear or be available to them if they wanted to and with that freedom and that fashion edge. I think that really changed the industry."


These days, Wang is a full-scale brand with stationery, eyeglasses, china and more. Speaking of her evolution from journalist to businesswoman, Wang said, "(It's) painful, and not only that, I have no choice. So I think when you start there's a certain innocence because of that freedom, and as you evolve you begin to see the parameters of what you can and can't do. So I make decisions that are very tiny that will affect an hour of work, I make decisions that will impact the lives of the people that work for me. It's in fashion as well, micro work, a centimeter of proportion and then it's macro to see what a vision is on the red carpet."

For more with Wang, who will be honored with a Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards on June 3, watch her full interview in the player above.