In a long-term deal she describes as “ginormous,” Vera Wang will create a bridal collection for David’s Bridal, a store that is all too often scoffed at, like gum on the bottom of a dyed satin pump. But like when Lady Gaga collaborated with Beyoncé on “Telephone,” the partnership will be huge and probably great, business-wise, for both of them. The line will hit David’s Bridal stores next spring, beginning with a collection of twenty wedding dresses, with bridesmaids dresses to follow, and possibly children’s wedding attire after that. Gowns will range from $600 to $1,500, with most coming in under $1,200. Wang’s regular bridal line ranges from about $4,000 to upwards of $25,000.
You can get a Wang gown for under $1,000 at the yearly sample sale — something people actually fly to New York and get on line at 4 a.m. or sooner for (some camp out overnight). But that only proves how popular Wang’s wedding gowns are and how huge this partnership could be for her and David’s Bridal.
David’s had been wooing Wang to do a line for some time. Label president Mario Grauso finally agreed, concerned after the closure of a number of high-end department stores that had carried Wang’s line.
“Our modern girls are not going to be turned off because we do something less expensive,” Grauso said. “That’s not something people today are embarrassed by.”
He’s right: It is hip to be cheap nowadays. David’s is comprised of 308 stores across the country and owns 30 percent of all bridal business nationwide, according to its president and chief executive officer. Wang makes it sound like her David’s dresses won’t be all that different from her pricier offerings.
She maintains that at least when it comes to classic fabrics — crepe de chines, for example — she and other top-tier designers source from the same mills as many designers further down the food chain. “Even for my lower price point of ready-to-wear, I do the basic CDC program,” she said. “We do wash it, and we do things to it … The truth is, we’re all using [certain] fabrics. And by the way, a lot of the [designers] who do those [mass] chains use the same fabrics, only they get them directly from the mills in China. You can’t compete unless you have a big company behind you because, let’s be honest, they’re not going to pay the same for the fabric. The truth here [is that] most of us in America who are upper-end designers use Symphony. [For David’s] I will be using Symphony and other things. I’m sure there are poly versions [of various fabrics] — which a lot of designers on the upper end [of bridal] use, too.”
We hope expanded offerings in affordable bridalwear have a trickle-down effect on how people think about weddings as a whole. With less invested in the dress, brides have less of a reason to drive everyone they want to see them in it mad — and all too often to the brink of bankruptcy — with all the wedding details.