No longer the surefire business it used to be, the bridal industry is dealing with more casual weddings, a shaky economy, an interest in vintage dresses, and hyper-savvy buyers.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
As the New York bridal market approaches, manufacturers and retailers are getting proactive with new strategies.
There is a lot of business at stake. Last year the global bridal gown market was worth $43.5 billion. There are expected to be 2.2 million marriages this year – a slight decline from the 2.4 million marriages that took place last year. Looking ahead, the domestic wedding services industry is expected to reach $70.3 billion by the end of the year.
However, following a surge in weddings in the US following the pandemic, the domestic bridal apparel market appears to be improving. Last week, JLM Couture Inc. filed for bankruptcy partly due to the pandemic and disputes with a landlord as well as its former designer Hayley Paige. In addition to that label, JLM produced the Allison Webb and Lazaro labels. JLM, which was founded in 1988, reduced its team from 70 to 21 in 2020. In a statement released on October 3, the company said it was working on a restructuring.
David’s Bridal, the largest national chain of affordable wedding dresses, is trying to find its footing again after its second bankruptcy. In July, the 70-year-old retailer was sold to Zion Investment Corp. Invested $20 million in new initiatives and assumed some of the bankruptcy-related liabilities. Earlier this year, David’s Bridal closed 100 of its stores, while 195 remained open.
Despite those struggles, some big-name bridal companies continue to attract attention, including Monique Lhuillier, Pronovias, Vera Wang, and Kleinfeld. Meanwhile, often hyper-savvy brides are opting to buy two dresses or a versatile style for their reception. They are purchasing months earlier than they were a year ago. And FOMO also applies to wedding dresses – many brides continue shopping even after they find their favorite dress, which can also be problematic for last-minute shopping. Continued interest in destination weddings is also driving sales.
Monique Lhuillier shoots her new campaign in Europe.
Lhuillier shot its advertising campaign in Europe for the second year in a row with an international team of models, who were photographed outside Venice. Brides not only want the dress, but “they want to be the girl in the picture,” the designer said. “The girls can really see the dresses in a dream-like setting and many times they even book the locations where I shoot. When I shot in Lake Como, a lot of places thanked me because now you can’t even find a place to go there.” Get married for a year.”
A bridal look from Sally Lapointe. Photo courtesy Sally Lapointe
Savvy brides are booking stylists for pre-wedding looks for their engagement parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and weddings. The latter often requires multiple costumes and a far-reaching outfit, Lhuillier said. “It has really grown over the last few seasons. Brides are willing to take more chances. More than ever, they are wearing pieces from my ready-to-wear collection for their weddings.”
But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for the traditional, he said. “Gorgeous traditional lace looks with long sleeves and ethereal elegance abound here. Even little girls, who are turning to more girly looks, want their wedding dresses to be more beautiful,” Lhuillier said, adding that she only shows 80 percent of the collection to encourage buyers to visit her stores. Reasons can be found and there is a feeling of discovery.
In New York, Kleinfeld executive vice president Marisa Rubinetti said, “We’re really out of the COVID-19 phase, with all retailers making full efforts to get their business back to pre-COVID-19 times.” Moving forward with strength.”
Despite the state of the economy, the rise of fast fashion, and the ongoing discussion about affordable prices for ready-to-wear, brides are spending a few hundred dollars more than in past years for wedding gowns, with the average Kleinfeld dress The purchase is $3,000. Gen Z is more interested in experiences than buying things, Rubinetti said, adding, “A wedding is probably the biggest experience of their entire life.” At Kleinfeld, he said, brides aren’t put off by the higher prices.
Anticipating the return of something gorgeous and over-the-top fashion this season, she expects to see some interesting fabrics and silhouettes from the market. Sareh Nouri, Nardos, Halfpenny London and Nicole + Felicia and Pnina Tornai were among the resources she was looking forward to seeing. After a surge in weddings last year, Rubinetti said the goal is to return to 2019 numbers. “We are seeing a good sign that it is starting to move towards a more normalized basis here. And 2019 was a very successful year for us,” she said.
Some new ones will also be added. Emsley is expected to officially open a freestanding store at 150 Wooster Street later this month. Paris-based Rime Arodaki is opening a showroom and store at 426 West Broadway. Tylee Bendel will unveil Haas Bridal at an event on October 11 at the Woolworth Building as part of NYFW Bridal. Toronto bridal and eveningwear atelier White Couture is launching the Jacqueline White label with a wholesale line of 20 dresses ranging from $2,500 to $7,500. The expansion began with several of its exclusive clients purchasing two dresses – a more traditional style for the ceremony and a short, body-hugging silk slipdress for the reception.
According to Shawn Jacobs, owner and creative director of Anne Barge, brides are shopping earlier and increasingly taking cues from celebrity weddings and Instagram and TikTok.
Morilee has its own celebration – 70th anniversary. The company will mark the occasion with a capsule collection inspired by some of the brand’s designs over the years. There will also be a Morilee Madeline Gardner 70th Anniversary Runway Show at Carnegie Hall on October 12. Jenny Yoo will host a runway show at the West Edge event space on Tuesday.
Longtime retailer Mark Ingram will debut its new more than 7,000-square-foot space at 515 Madison Avenue. “Brides are really doing their homework,” she said. They are very educated and also get information through word of mouth from friends. They are buying with a very definite eye in mind. They know what’s going on in fashion and trends, as well as how to organize a beautiful wedding.”
Stephan Rolland, Elie Saab and Mira Zwillinger are some of the best-selling labels for Ingram, who was eager to meet the teams of Israel-based labels Eisen-Stein and Alon Livne, who were able to travel to New York despite the Israel-Gaza war. Be successful. “They have made it and will be able to present. I’m excited because they’re also personal friends. They are safe, their families are safe and they are able to continue business.” Ingram said
According to Mark Badgley and James Miska, the designer label is increasing engagement between stores and brides by promoting retailer partners through Badgley Miska Bride’s Instagram and Facebook. Now more than ever, sales are driven by online searches and research, he said, a pandemic shutdown-induced trend that has become the norm. With this in mind, he said, stores need to emphasize the service aspect of the gown shipping experience.
“We showcase the boutiques that offer Badgley Miska bride gowns and store, manage and furnish details for the placement of our gowns. This is creating more engagement between store owners and brides on our social media platforms,” he said.
According to owner and creative director Shawn Jacobs, after opening an in-house manufacturing facility near her design offices, Anne Barge is now looking to expand her eveningwear business Stateside and her bridal business in the UK and Europe. Brides are shopping in advance, reviewing all available options, adding accessories and increasingly taking cues from celebrity weddings and Instagram and TikTok, she said.
Pnina Tornai is offering a $100,000 custom gown. Photo courtesy Pnina Tornai
The Arawa pollock is also spreading with greater distribution in the Americas, Asia and Europe. According to Arawa and Ronan Pollack, some of that growth has been driven by brides looking for clean cuts, princess silhouettes and detachable sleeves to provide a versatile option.
Tel Aviv-based Pnina Tornai is encouraging brides to embrace “anti-trend weddings” with more daring designs. She’s also encouraging a new level of extravagance with a made-to-order wedding gown that will cost $100,000 and require nearly 400 hours of work just for the decoration. With brides shopping three to six months before their wedding — versus a year ahead — the designer said this creates additional pressure for a custom dress. Additionally, the FOMO factor also applies to wedding dresses, with many brides continuing to shop even after finding their favorite dress, she said. Sometimes, once they decide it may be too late because all of their gowns are one-of-a-kind.
Arava Pollack encourages brides to embrace their individuality. Photo Courtesy Arava Pollack
Many brands are trying to increase sales globally, including Ines Di Santo, which is targeting Europe, Australia and Asia. The company has recently entered Vietnam and will now head to Malaysia. To keep up with those growth, Ines Di Santo is expanding its manufacturing in Toronto.
After introducing bridal last year, Sally Lapointe said, “There is a huge appetite for the type of assortment we offer. I don’t make traditional brides. I immediately realized that the customer was there – let’s call her the new bride.
Atelier Couture is also branching out, launching a ready-to-wear line and a second collection that will be available only at its new stores in Kuala Lumpur and London, as well as a store in Shanghai later this month. The most significant recent change, said CEO Yu Loh, is that many brides are shopping five to six months before their wedding, rather than a year before.