Embarking on a collaboration with far-reaching implications in terms of the wedding market, the woman who symbolizes the epitome of high-end designer bridal has officially linked up with the ultimate mainstream bridal brand.
According to WWD, the name of the new line Wang is designing for David's Bridal is still under wraps pending trademark finalization, but the first 20 dresses in the line are set to hit stores next spring, and will range from $600-$1500.
For those reading this who, like we, never could have imagined writing "Vera Wang" (who's designed dresses for everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Ivanka Trump) and "David's Bridal" in the same sentence, consider the circumstances in which the upscale bridal market now finds itself: It is, in many ways, an incredibly high-end industry struggling during a period when everyone wants to pay less for more, and battling a competitive set with incredible reach -- from J. Crew to the soon-to-launch Urban.
The most interesting part of WWD's interview was actually the two company leaders in bridal -- David's Bridal company president Mario Grauso and Wang herself -- talking about what Grauso called the “diminishing distribution channel" for bridal in the states. Even Wang, who might seem impervious to harm when it comes to selling wedding dresses, admitted, "We lost 16 doors between Neiman’s and Saks in one week. I believe it was on a Monday, Saks closed eight doors and on a Friday, Neiman’s."
Thusly, this kind of previously-unimagined partnership starts to become more realistic, especially when viewed in terms of a growing mass-market competitive set: J. Crew (whose new bridal boutique is even encroaching on Vera territory), Urban's new bridal line, and Net-a-Porter's massive online wedding boutique. According to David's Bridal, the company accounts for 30 percent of the bridal business -- the kind of distribution to which Vera Wang, with her lofty price points, couldn't even come close to before this partnership.