Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.

Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.

Long before becoming a world-renowned fashion designer, Vera Wang dreamed of Olympic figure skating. With her Olympic dream ending in 1968, “I was completely lost. Bereft. I needed to find something else that I could love as much. It turned out to be fashion.”

Vera Wang is without doubt one of the most successful fashion designers in the world. Famously known for her wedding dresses and modern but chic designs she has become an icon in the fashion industry since she started as an editor for Vogue in 1971. But did you know she also had a passion for figure skating? 

Being a talented figure skater herself Wang competed professionally throughout her teenage years. But when she placed only fifth in the junior pairs competition at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships she had to bury her hopes for a spot on the Olympic team. After graduating from college a few years later she eventually decided to quit the sport completely.

IMAGO / ZUMA / Keystone
IMAGO / ZUMA / Keystone | Vera Wang with French figure skater Patrick Péra in Paris, whom she was dating in the early 70s during her junior year abroad.

But when Vera Wang was asked by Nancy Kerrigan’s coach, with whom she had skated, to design the costumes for the Olympic Games in Albertville, she agreed – not an easy task, she admitted in an interview with People magazine in 2018: “It’s not for the faint of heart. If one strap were to break, or if the beading on the sleeve gets caught when they turn, their whole Olympics is over. That is how serious it is. It’s absolutely nightmarish!”. Wang mastered the challenge: Kerrigan won bronze in the 1992 and silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Soon others followed, including Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek and Nathan Chen.

Discover the stunning outfits Vera Wang designed over the past decades for some of the best figure skaters there are to round off their Olympic performances on ice.

Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / Laci Perenyi (2), IMAGO / Colorsport | Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / PCN Photography (3) | Nathan Chen at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / PCN Photography (2), IMAGO / Norbert Schmidt | Michelle Kwan at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / PCN Photography (3) | Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / Kyodo News, IMAGO / Chai v.d. Laage, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire | Evan Lysacek at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / ZUMA Wire (3) | Michelle Kwan at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / AFLOSPORT (2), IMAGO / Bildbyran | Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / ITAR-TASS, IMAGO / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO / Icon SMI | Evan Lysacek at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / Sven Simon (2), IMAGO / Bildbyran | Michelle Kwan at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Figure Skating Costumes for the Olympic Games designed by Vera Wang.
IMAGO / AFLOSPORT (2), IMAGO / Schreyer | Nathan Chen at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Words and images by Columnist, NG.  As part of our Winter Olympic series, that also includes Winter Sport: The True ‘Beautiful Game’.

                        

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