A household name even for those with no interest in fashion, designer Vera Wang spent her formative years devoted to perhaps the most stylish athletic pursuit: figure skating. An extremely talented skater, Wang competed in the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and was featured in Sports Illustrated. When she failed to make the Olympic team that year, however, the young athlete made the tough decision to retire and pursue other interests.After graduating from Sarah Lawrence, Wang became the senior fashion editor for Vogue. She would remain there for 16 years, but after being passed over for the editor-in-chief position in 1986, she once again opted to count her losses and move on, this time joining the fashion industry in earnest. She became Ralph Lauren's design director and eventually started her own line. Her designs made a massive splash in the industry, and Wang's wedding dresses in particular became popular. She would also pay tribute to her own roots, designing skating costumes for Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. Wang would eventually expand her line to include accessories, off-the-rack fashions, and more, and soon became a celebrity in her own right, appearing on shows like Project Runway.