After working as an editor at Vogue and an accessories designer at Ralph Lauren, Wang opened a New York bridal shop and debuted her own line of gowns at age 40. Three decades later her namesake brand is now a global business spanning fashion, beauty, jewelry and homewares.

Q: Why, at age 40, did you decide to strike out on your own as a fashion designer?

A: Is that old? Perhaps I would have preferred to start off at 20 or 30, but I don't think I would have been anywhere near equipped to know what it takes to be