VERA’S SPECIAL DELIVERY: Years after she earned her own Sarah Lawrence diploma, Vera Wang will return to the leafy campus Friday to give the commencement address to the class of 2013. Having read speeches from seven of her predecessors at the Yonkers, N.Y., school, Wang chose her own words carefully and she took two and a half months to do so. “I mean Rahm Emanuel, Jessica Lange, Arianna Huffington.…When you read these names, you think, ‘What am I doing here?’ Except I really did attend Sarah Lawrence.”
Among the messages the designer will be delivering is how “in this world the ability for reinvention is key for survival even if you are a stay-at-home mom.”
This story first appeared in the May 22, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The world is a changing place. If you don’t have that flexibility, something will hold you up,” Wang said. “I am also going to talk about accepting diversity. Everyone is different, whether that be different ethnicities, upbringings, education or anything else. Without diversity, the world is very judgmental and very limiting. Different people bring different things to each situation. These have really been the tenets of the school from Day One.”
Never one to sugarcoat things, Wang said she will also talk about how failure doesn’t have to define your direction and how it often must be experienced in order to grow. “The speech is very philosophical, but hopefully it’s a bit realistic,” she said.
Less than a week away from receiving the CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, Wang doesn’t have to worry about her graduation day attire. “I will be in a cap and gown — this will not be a fashion moment,”she said.