In March, Vera Wang traveled to Paris for a work-pleasure trip. The work aspect focused on vendor meetings, and the pleasure, merely being in the city she loves dearly while taking in shows of some of her favorite designers — Rick Owens, Celine’s Hedi Slimane, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia. Wang isn’t only a designer, she’s also a major fashion fan and consumer, and reveled in the role of observer. Yet it struck her at Owens, the first show she attended, that she was sitting there amidst a pack of people who had just de-planed from Milan, where the coronavirus had started to explode. “I thought maybe the other three I planned to go to wouldn’t exist. But they did,” Wang said.
That quartet of shows anchors in her memory the waning days of life as we knew it, before the coronavirus changed everything. Now, she’s trying to make sense of it all while focusing on her employees at a workplace gone dark. “Their whole livelihood is hanging on my company,” Wang said. “I never forget that.”
WWD: Your show was last month. Do you believe how the world has changed since then?
Vera Wang: The show seems prehistoric. It was barely
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