Vera Wang and Pronovias Are Teaming Up to Launch a New, Accessibly-Priced Collection
Vera Wang has long been dubbed the doyenne of the bridal industry—and for good reason. She continues to revolutionize wedding dressing, infusing a true sense of fashion into a traditional market that tends to play it safe. Wang approaches these collections as she does her ready-to-wear: Each has sources of inspiration, be it the transparency and sex appeal of black and nude lingerie or cherry blossom season in Japan, rather than being based on what a sales team considers passable for the bride, a client the industry too often deems reluctant to take style risks.
While she’s known for otherworldly creations in the luxury market, Wang’s also proven her interest in designing for every bride (and every woman), through a past partnership with David’s Bridal and current collections with Men’s Wearhouse, Zales, and Kohl’s. Those collections are intended to make the brand as accessible to fashion-loving consumers as possible, while keeping her luxury ready-to-wear and namesake bridal collection at the high end. But the recent pandemic shutdowns led Wang to think it was time for a change. “It was a strange and uncertain future as to how we would reemerge,” she explains in an exclusive interview with BAZAAR Bride.
The result of her off time? Today, Vera Wang announces a partnership with global bridal brand Pronovias. The new endeavor, which Wang calls “a new bridal business,” rather than using fashion terminology like “capsule collection,” will allow her to expand her Vera Wang Bride label to 50-plus dresses per season, presenting a variety of styles and distributing internationally on a larger scale than ever before. The Vera Wang Bride collection will be available in Pronovias stores and select wholesalers worldwide starting September 2021 and will range in price from $1,600 to $4,000. The partnership, which will begin with bridal gowns and expand into special-occasion dresses in January 2022, tapped into the Vera Wang archives for inspiration, using a variety of techniques honed over the designer’s 30-plus years in the business.
“I’ve always felt that it was my joy and my privilege to design for women in a way that I don’t get to do in ready-to-wear,” shares Wang. “In bridal, I get to use ideas that are more theatrical, more experimental, and more feminine in a modern way. I like to shake up every bridal collection I do, but it can be frustrating to create ideas and codes, and only use them once, for that collection only.” Now, Wang explains that she can revisit those concepts again—in a whole new way and at a lower price point. Expect lots of layering, transparency, exaggerated proportions, and a focus on fit, with the ability to inquire about customizations in-store (each priced upon request).
Those small personalizations—from requesting to drop or raise a waistline to building up necklines for coverage or opening up a back for a sexier silhouette—are things currently possible in Vera Wang flagship boutiques, but have been less common across the industry. Wang’s partnership with Pronovias will allow for those luxury touches to trickle down into the Vera Wang Bride store experience as well.
According to the designer, this pivot stems from the desire to balance creating and innovating with her wish to dress brides across the world. “At the collection level, the dresses are expensive, there’s no question about it,” she says. “I can’t do the amount of experimentation I do if it’s about the dresses reaching a wide breadth of brides. This just seemed like the perfect opportunity to create clothing with codes that are so totally us—but at a price point for quality and sophistication of the make that’s unbelievable.”
Wang is not one to promise more than she delivers: “[The collection] is really impressive,” she says. “I say that honestly, and I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to quality. The attitude and that nuance of the clothing has not been lost—it’s got that personality that I always thought we’d stand to lose by reducing the price point.”
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 abide by the standard fashion calendar of showing during Bridal Fashion Week in April and October, 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.
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.
At 72 years old and 32 years in the business, Vera Wang is expanding and has no plans of slowing down. “This new brand is about our codes, our style, and our vocabulary—but global in a way we’ve never been able to be.”
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