The name Vera Wang is an icon in itself. For many years, every bride had to have a Vera Wang dress, whether it was for weddings or evening wear. Vera Wang has dressed many celebrities and women politicians, including Mariah Carey, Kim and Kloe Kardashian, Ivanka Trump, Chelsea Clinton, and Michelle Obama. Vera Wang has changed the way women from all backgrounds can wear her one-of-a-kind dresses. Forming a partnership with Kohls, Vera added a line called "Simply Vera" for more affordable jewelry, clothing, and shoes. She even created a line for bridal dresses at David's Bridal for brides on a tight budget. Her dresses have been featured on TV shows and movies such as "Gossip Girl," "Bride Wars" and "Ugly Betty." Vera Wang is the real deal, and, to her credit, she has been in the fashion industry for over 40 years. Is it possible that the love for Vera Wang's dresses has simmered and a new love is in bloom? This new love has a name: Pnina Tornai.
Pnina Tornai was born in 1962 in Israel. Her name was originally Perla but was later transformed to Pnina, according to the Hebrew language. Pnina dreamed of becoming an actress, so she moved to Paris to study the art. After years of learning and trying to break into the industry, she had to put her dream on hold. A child and three husbands later, Pnina moved back to Israel to try her hand at something new. There, she started a small boutique, selling her own designs. She had a small clientele, but she never gave up. In 1992 Pnina was asked to create a wedding dress inspired by an evening gown a client had seen in a store window. Pnina dominated this challenge, and her dress was featured in an Israeli newspaper. She soon had requests for more wedding dresses, and her store became a bridal boutique.
Pnina's dresses are featured on TLC's show "Say Yes to the Dress," a reality show filmed in the famous Kleinfeld store in New York City. What viewers don't know is that Pnina's dresses were rejected by Kleinfeld because they incorporated lace. Pnina never gave up, though. She redesigned her dresses to Kleinfeld's liking, and the company couldn't refuse them. In 2005, before "Say Yes to the Dress" aired, Pnina Tornai's dresses debuted in Kleinfeld. The show aired in 2007, and her name has since popped up in almost every episode. Pnina's dresses have become a must-have for every budgeted and non-budgeted bride.
Pnina has dressed Eva Bryan; NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's wife; "The Real Housewives" reality star Kim Zoliack; "Good Morning America" meteorologist Ginger Zee; Kevin Jonas's wife, Danielle Deleasa; and many more. When you're fitting celebrities and socialites, you know you've made a name for yourself.
Pnina's success could stem from her perseverance and our ever-changing cultural society. Despite Pnina's place of birth, she conquered the American market due to that perseverance. She never shied away from challenges. She may be Israeli, but she sure shows what the heart of an American looks like. Like Vera's creations, Pnina's dresses can now be seen on TV shows and movies such as "TRL," "Sex and the City," "Arthur," and, of course, "Say Yes to the Dress."
As the saying goes, "Out with the old and in with the new." Vera Wang will be forever remembered for her iconic haute couture dresses and diverse markets. However, as time goes by, trends fade, and designers retire. Pnina is the new kid on the block, and rightfully so. Vera Wang has made her mark on the industry, and Pnina Tornai will certainly leave hers. She, too, will await her predecessor, who will have large shoes to fill.