Why she's interesting Wang is redesigning the fashion industry in Cleveland by fusing Western design with Chinese tradition inside her Rocky River studio. After developing and manufacturing her own clothing in China for 25 years, the designer and CEO of Lucio Vanni Couture continues to add to her collection of high-fashion women's apparel by creating couture dresses, bridal gowns, ready-to-wear outfits, a shoe line and even her own organic skincare line.
Cleveland class Wang sold her businesses in 2001, and quit designing for fashion houses such as Chanel, Armani, Prada, BCBG and DKNY to come to Cleveland. She works 12 to 15 hours per day sketching, making patterns and hand-sewing each piece in her collection while Chopin plays in the background. "When I sew, I'm very peaceful. It keeps me going."
Undercover chic Wang found her fondness for fashion when she discovered Chanel at 13. "I used to ask my parents for money to buy candy, and then I would save that money to buy Western fashion magazines. They were so beautiful, so sexy, so detailed."
Trend starter When she was 15 and living in the small town of Ningbo, Wang started sewing her own bell-bottom jeans and wearing them in public. She developed a following from other townsfolk who brought her fabric in exchange for their own bell-bottoms.
Rose red "Red is my favorite color. In China, we have a tradition. We wear red to weddings and we wear red at Christmas. So I use the Eastern traditional color and match the Western styles."
An apple a day "We use apples every day. We have Apple computers, we make apple pies. I thought, Why not build an apple dress?" The Red Apple Dress made its debut at Columbus Fashion Week in 2011. Made from 20 yards of red Dupioni silk, it took Wang more than 70 hours to create and is one of her favorite pieces.
Fashion forecast "Hollywood movie stars want a lot of focus and a lot of detail, so I'm going to use a lot of laser cuts." Wang will show at the Miami, Los Angeles and New York fashion weeks with a 20-piece, ready-to-wear collection; an 18-gown bridal collection; and a 12-piece couture line.