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Vera Wang has long been dubbed the doyenne of the bridal industry—and for good reason. Even in a pandemic, she's managed to dress multiple celebrity brides, from Ariana Grande to Gwen Stefani to Issa Rae. That was in addition to her red carpet hits, like Andra Day's jaw-dropping gold number at the Oscars and Amanda Gorman and Emily Ratajkowski's gowns at this week's Met Gala. After 30+ years in the business, Wang seems to have no plans of slowing down. Announcing a rebrand of her namesake label—Vera Wang Bride—in collaboration with bridal juggernaut Pronovias this past April was case in point. The iconic designer gave BAZAAR Bride an exclusive look at the collection, which debuts today.
Given that Wang’s in-house bridal collection was previously named Vera Wang Bride, this new partnership with Pronovias will usher in changes for the collection she designs seasonally in her New York City atelier. Moving forward, her 12-to-15 gown collections created per season will not necessarily abide by the standard fashion calendar and will be even more "couture light" than ever before. With that hand-craftsmanship in mind, she plans to rebrand the highest end of her brand as Vera Wang Haute. "It will be 'higher.' It's something we're continuously striving for," she explains.
While this debut collection with Pronovias sits at a more accessible price point than her newly-minted Haute, Wang approached its design as she does all her work. "Whatever pricepoint I am working at, it's important to us that the same attention is paid...the same sense of responsibility, devotion, dedication, and effort. I do know quality; and I think it's important that whatever someone buys with my name on it, it's our best; whether it's crystal goblets, eye frames, ready-to-wear, or bridal. It's not just about relevance and cool, it's about trust between product and client."
That trust is built by not skirting the work it takes to innovate; each collection begins with sources of inspiration, be it the transparency and sex appeal of black and nude lingerie or cherry blossom season in Japan, rather than simply what a sales team considers passable for the bride, a client the industry too often deems reluctant to take style risks. This collection tapped into the brand's archives for inspiration, using techniques honed over three decades in weddings. Expect lots of layering, transparency, exaggerated proportions, and a focus on fit.
"With this collection, we're able to walk the fine line between being commercial, which you don't want to be a dirty word, and being creative," Wang says. "It's about an exploration of silhouettes that are not necessarily expected. When you look at the proportions of the skirts, the cuts, and the details, it's the DNA of our brand...it's everything that we've done for ages, but with a lot of value." The collection will show once a year, consisting of 60+ looks, edited down from almost 100—and that's just bridal gowns. The line will also include eveningwear looks for attendants and guests as well.
This new endeavor, which Wang calls "a new bridal business," will allow her to expand her reach, presenting a variety of styles and distributing internationally on a larger scale than ever before. The collection will be available in Pronovias stores and select wholesalers worldwide starting this month and will range in price from $1,600 to $4,000.
In discussing weddings that will take place post-lockdown and the temperature of the current fashion customer, Wang feels that there is a new appetite and energy among brides worldwide for something a bit more fashion-forward as women emerge from staying at home and look forward to getting dressed up again. "There is a new reality where consumers are in the mood for some more elaborate, edgy, and intellectual work," she says. "Bridal is a part of fashion; it's not just an offshoot of formal dressing."
As Vera Wang Bride picks up speed, expect Vera Wang Haute to become that much more daring, seductive, and risk-taking, reserved for brides looking to invest in gowns that are that much more conceptual for the aisle—concepts that down the line will pop up in nuanced, smaller doses in this new range with Pronovias. "This new brand is about our codes and our vocabulary—but global in a way we've never been able to be."
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