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Time with Pronovias





Going global



For more information contact Michele O’Neill email: or call: 0845 838 1041

Dessy Group styles featured from left: 3013, D744, JP1008, 8190

RO M A N T I C A W W W. R O M A NT ICA O F D E V O N . C O . U K


W W W. S U Z A N N E N E V I L L E . C O M


BARCELONA BRIDAL FASHION WEEK, P35 We caught up with Estermaria Laruccia, Director of BBFW, to see how the 2018 event is shaping up


TALKING P OINT News and snippets of fascinating developments within the world of bridal





YP OS Your problems and our solutions from hand-picked experts in the bridal industry


MAKING A D IFFER E NC E Jeanette Stevens from Enzoani is listening to retailers’ concerns and doing something about them in this Trader Exclusive


MOD ECA’S NE W STAR We quiz Alden Misolas on his role at Modeca and what inspires his designs


HE RV E IS BAC K ! Rock ’n’ roll swagger meets Parisienne chic – the ultimate combo!


FU L L ST E AM A H E A D Win a Propress Steamer worth £600!


DE L IV E R ING SE RV I C E Minimums – a taboo topic? Not here. Four leading suppliers discuss this sticky subject


M AT E R IAL M AT T E R S We discover the story behind Michael’s Bridal Fabrics and upcoming royal fabrics


M R . PR O NOV I AS We chat to Hervé Moreau of Pronovias about his collections debuting at Barcelona


I N MY OP INION Lauren Daly discusses the potential danger of an impending website that could have a big impact on your business…

B LO GGE R ’ S BEST Julia Braime of Brides Up North tell us how to create a successful blog

I T ’S SH OW SE ASO N! 13 brilliant pages covering upcoming bridal 78 S ECO ND O PIN I O N shows in Barcelona, New York, Chicago, Employing new staff can be a hassle. Helen Essen, Düsseldorf and Milan Lord of Lulu Brown’s shares her advice


’MAID S ON PARADE A snapshot of 20 gorgeous bridesmaid collections for your consideration




MOTB MAR KET What are the hottest trends for mums?

HOW TO STAN D O U T Jo Kent of Something Blue PR tells us her priceless tips for creating brand buzz L EGAL S O U ND A DV I C E Data protection: GDPR and the new rules



Ed’s Letter

Susi Rogol

Production Editor

Hello there – what a great response we’ve had to our first full issue. Questions popping up, concerns being voiced, problems being shared. We’re obviously doing something very right by creating a platform for retailers to speak their mind. And because of that, we’re pulling in exclusive stories – in this issue, an interview with Pronovias’ chief designer, another with the boss of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week and, the story that will shake things up, what Enzoani is doing to make a real difference. We have suppliers talking straight to retailers, shops advising each other, and, to add a little icing to the wedding cake, a competition for those who put love and detail into their windows. Enjoy. And stay involved. Got something to say? Say it to us. Email me at TEAM TALK “It’s tough for me to pick a highlight this month – so much hard work went into this issue – I feel attached to all 100 pages of it! But if I had to pick, then I loved the Trader Exclusive we ran on Enzoani on page 26. I think Jeanette’s idea is a stroke of genius.” Tom Harrod Production Editor “This month I really enjoyed the interview with ‘Mr Pronovias’: Hervé Moreau. His design philosophies demonstrate his passion and vision.”

Laura Lismore Fashion Sales Executive “Easy – my favourite part of this issue was reading about the coverage of all the upcoming shows! My job involves networking, so I got a really good feel of how useful each of them would be to retailers.” CONTRIBUTORS Wendy Adams, Julia Braime, Laura Daly, Vivien Felstein, Billy Fitzsimons, Izzy Hicks, Jo Kent, Estermaria Laruccia, Richard Lill, Susanne Lurie, Helen Lord, Bernard McKenna, Alden Misolas, Hervé Moreau, Maria Musgrove-Wethey, Tim Oliver, Ellie Sanderson, Jeanette Stevens, Justin Warshaw

Art Director Andy Allen

Fashion Sales Executive Laura Lismore Mobile: 07903 858078

Sales Executive Martha Cooke (maternity leave) Mobile: 07877 449122 @WeddingTraderUK


@WeddingTraderMag @weddingtrader

Trader Trader WEDDING


Andy Allen Art Director “Putting together the first in our series of snapshot collections – Bridesmaids. With art and photography being two of my loves, this was fun to create!”

Tom Harrod

Time with Pronovias



WT3_Cover_Enzoani 4aa.indd 1




Going global


02/03/2018 11:14

Wedding Trader magazine is distributed to hundreds of the best bridal retailers all over the UK. Designed and created by the makers of Love Our Wedding magazine and, Wedding Trader is a new trade string to the otherwise consumer bow of Meant To Be Media Ltd.

MEANT TO BE MEDIA Wedding Trader is published by: Meant To Be Media Ltd, 68a Oldham Road, Manchester M4 5EE. Tel: 0161 236 6712 Meant To Be Media Ltd also publish: LOV E OUR



LA Visit us at LONDON BRIDAL WEEK 25th- 27th March

Sale ÂŁ349- ÂŁ899

Amazing incentives available at LBW CONTACT: James McKenna T: 07551 006 995 Kirsty Voce T: 01765 570 040

Destination Dressing Supposedly, close to one in four couples choose to get married abroad. The idea of combining the nuptials with the honeymoon has real appeal (the guarantee of good weather helps). That could be why more and more brands are bringing on the easy-travel gowns – cut to compliment, lightweight, and certainly less formal than their urban counterparts. Could it be worth your while creating a destination rail in your shop, spreading the word, and building a reputation for supplying that niche section of the market? Take a look at brands like Lillian West, Jazz by Modeca, Beloved by Casablanca, Tara Keely, Venus and Marylise to get a good idea of what’s available out there.


TA L K I N G POINT Keep up-to-date with the latest news in the wedding world, right here! DAME ZANDRA RHODES DESIGNS GROOVY FAVOURS FOR CRUK Dame Zandra Rhodes has created two limited-edition wedding favours exclusively for Cancer Research UK. The heart and ribbonshaped pins were cast from a unique design by Dame Zandra, featuring her bold ‘Face’ and ‘Wiggle’ symbols, and are engraved with her signature on the reverse. Cancer Research UK asks couples to make a suggested donation of £2.50 per favour, which goes towards the charity’s life-saving work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all cancers. For more information or to order the wedding favours, visit A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 11

ALAN HANNAH On Sunday 25 March, Marguerite Hannah’s 2019 collections will be in the spotlight on the catwalk at White Gallery. This time around MiaMia (best for boho) and Rita Mae (where short and sweet is the personality) will be included in the line up. There will be a Champagne reception at 11.30, followed by the show at midday. Spaces are limited and the event is by invitation-only. For more ticket information, email

P R O N OV I AS TO OP E N B B F W Newsflash: Pronovias will present the latest trends from its Atelier Pronovias 2019 collection on Monday, 23 April, in a spectacular fashion show that will mark the beginning of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week. Read more about the show on pages 35-36 in our exclusive interview with Fira di Barcelona boss, Estermaria Laruccia, and on pages 73-74 you can catch up with Pronovias chief designer, Hervé Moreau, himself – another Wedding Trader exclusive. 12 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

We love this dress by Jarice… It offers that delicious mix of layered tulle, re-embroidered lace, a gorgeously girly shape, floaty sleeves and yes, the palest of blush. The good news is that there’s lots more like it in this fantastic Dutch collection that has four brands in its portfolio – Pure (including some great destination looks), Elegance, Deven and Glamour (red carpet at its bridal best). See the whole collection for yourself at European Bridal Week in Essen, on 14-16 April.

WAI T TI L L YO U S E E THE R EST ! This lacey lovely is from the vast Bianco Evento collection. The German house is a one-stop shop with everything from wedding gowns – there are 60 in the range – to shoes under the Avalia label, petticoats, veils, headdresses, the whole lot! At any one time there is in excess of 200,000 items in stock and deliveries can be filled in a matter of days. If that’s not tempting, we don’t know what is! Think of those brides who want it all now… It’s finally your turn to say yes to the dress! Check out

D ÉCOR -RAT E One fabulous piece of furniture can make a huge difference to the atmosphere you create, whether your style is ultra-modern or uber-shabby chic. Sit a bride down, get them to feel at home and you’ll capture her attention. We’ve scanned through Maison du Monde’s offerings and fell hook, line and squashy cushions for these gorgeous chaises longues (£689 and £1,313), but there’s lots more to add to your wish list. Visit to find out… A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 13


S T YL E: P C 720 8

Visit us at LONDON BRIDAL WEEK 25th- 27th March

Sale ÂŁ129- ÂŁ599

Amazing incentives available at LBW


James McKenna T: 07551 006 995 Kirsty Voce T: 01765 570 040

In my opinion Be prepared. That’s the message from our resident retail columnist Laura Daly, of Bellissima Weddings. Here she looks at the threat of another high street and online operation that’s pulling in some quality labels


his glorious age of all things being available on the internet has been both wonderful and dreadful in equal measure. While we can joyfully get our message out there to all more easily than ever before, the same thing applies to everyone else of course, like it or not. Over the years, our sector has had to fend off copy gowns being advertised directly from China or through famous auction websites, genuine items being available to purchase in dollars through American bridal shops at prices we couldn’t possibly hope to match, and the proliferation of outlets for all the old samples swilling about, owing to the constant pressure to buy more pieces while a list of dissimilar styles is discontinued. There have been retail casualties through all this, but those of us who have been wise in our buying, moved with the times and kept our bank managers sweet will have just managed to keep our heads above the water. However, what is coming up is truly terrifying, and could well be the wave that pulls us under if we don’t plan for it right now. We’ve all been aware of high street fashion chains trying their luck with bridal ranges. Inevitably they have taken some sales from the rest of us, but for the time being

at least it seems that the majority of brides still prefer to shop in a traditional full-service boutique for greater choice and, hopefully in most cases, superior quality. Things seem to have moved on apace though, and in the USA there is serious consternation about the appearance of, a new website that is a bridal offshoot of the Anthropologie chain. Think of your favourite bridal label; the one you’ve spent the last umpteen years supporting, placed repeat orders with and thereby helping it to

What is coming up is truly terrifying, and could well be the wave that pulls us under if we don’t plan for it expand and grow. Then visualise half a dozen or so of your best-selling dresses from that label. Would you be happy to find those styles readily available to buy online, through a prestigious website, at a lower retail price than you can offer, and with free returns to boot? Sadly, this is apparently what is happening. The reasons for it will no doubt be complex and I was not privy to the dealings, discussions or agreements that brought it about, so I cannot lay blame squarely in

one corner. All I can say is that, in my opinion, the impact of it could quite easily be disastrous for bricksand-mortar retailers. Ultimately, we could find ourselves being used as a place to enjoy the experience of trying on wedding dresses that are subsequently purchased online, cheaper and with the right to return. So, where does this leave us? How can we compete? We need to be talking to our suppliers now, asking difficult questions, and doing some serious homework before spending any money on more frocks. Think carefully about the companies you deal with. Invest your money only where you are happy with the answers you get. I believe that any supplier who supports such a venture either has not fully thought through the possible consequences, or has thought them through and simply the does not care – which is ten times worse. Identify your market. Identify your bride. Buy for her, and sell to her in a way that she appreciates and understands. Selling online does not take a great deal of skill. You are the expert at selling faceto-face. Never forget that. It could be what saves you. Got advice to share with fellow retailers? Suggestions for how to combat the competition? Drop us an email on A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 19

wilder lybr ide. com


YO U R P R O B L EM S OUR S O LO U T I O N S Is something bugging you? Want to get it off your chest and share it? Do you like getting the views of others? This is the place to come to. Tell us the problem and we’ll source opinions that may be helpful

I am very disciplined in the way I run my business, my staff, and my finances. Very disciplined, that is, until I hit the big shows… this is when my resolve vanishes and I overspend, only to regret it later. I kid myself with a new find, that I really will be the only one to have made the discovery, which, even at the back of my mind, I know is crazy. I find I am much stronger on the phone and by email than I am face to face. So should I avoid temptation and go as far as not even attending the big events? Will I really be missing out?”



It seems to me that the first thing you should do is to review your previous year’s sales and look at the return you have had from your investment by supplier. Remove the people from the frame and focus instead on the numbers.

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If you have invested £8,000 in a collection and returned £24,000 sales you probably won’t re-invest. Decide what your minimum return is from your investment, and then decide how much you will spend by designer. Clearly, some labels will drive footfall and not pick up sales

themselves, so looking at your website stats alongside this is vital. Set sales targets for the year ahead and set stock purchase targets on the back of these. You’ve got to put the horse before the cart! If when you look at a collection and you can’t

2 NO COMPARISON Seeing a product in the flesh, the way it sits and moves, is so vital when thinking of buying it

imagine it bringing in the sales target then you need to adjust your purchasing approach. This is when you may need to make some

Be bold and be brave. The market is changing rapidly and only those willing to be hard negotiators will be the ones who stay around.

If when you look at a collection and you can’t imagine it bringing in the sales target, then you need to change your approach and make tough decisions tough decisions – of course confrontation is easier via email than face-to-face, but negotiating a great deal is easier eye ball to eye ball. It adds humility. If a supplier is demanding high minimums for a label that is saturated by area, not unique, then you really do need to ask yourself if you work for them or for you. Buying stock to keep them happy is just that. It won’t make you happy when it arrives, followed by an accompanying enormous invoice to pay for a product that is a duplication of the year before or other labels.

You are not alone – when it comes to buying new labels, we can all kid ourselves from time to time. There are, however, clear

year or season? • Trunk shows? • Loan samples? • Area of exclusivity? If you cover this off you won’t be left feeling you bought unnecessarily, but that you have achieved a great deal. Missing a trade show is a tragedy. Even if you go to network and keep an eye on what’s going on without buying, you must go. Don’t isolate yourself. Chatting and learning is the way to develop great contacts. Sharing ideas and picking up one golden

Missing a trade show is a tragedy. Networking, chatting and sharing ideas could help you pick up one golden nugget that may help your business questions that are vital to ask before agreeing to a contract; never overlook the importance of these: • How many stockists are they planning? • How many minimums per

nugget may help your business grow. You can never network enough. You can never have enough information. Ellie Sanderson Ellie Sanderson Boutiques

I find that new products are best experienced in person when you can touch it and see how it moves on the body. Additionally, viewing the products in a face-to-face environment is an ideal opportunity to create a relationship with the designers and company personnel, which is extremely important to have when you need help or advice. Therefore, I’d strongly urge for you not to skip the shows; instead, you just need to change your approach. Do a complete evaluation of your last six-twelve months of sales. Which styles does your bride ask for? Which style is she actually buying? Which styles have the highest margin? Do you have any gaps in your assortment? Actively share this data with your sales agent so that they can present the most relevant product to you. Push yourself to avoid too much duplication with your product mix. You should certainly bring in product that is proven and you know will sell, but allocate at least 25 percent for new and fresh lines that you think will translate well in your store. Justin Warshaw Justin Alexander

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A key part of running a bridal shop is to attend the main trade shows. It’s the best place to see the new collections being launched and also to top up on accessories to give your shop a fresh look. It’s the time to meet face-to-face with your suppliers and discuss any issues you might be facing and to tell them your plans and dreams for the future of your business. The industry is tough at the moment – it means you need to work together even harder than before to build stronger, lasting relationships. As organisers, we see it as key to introduce new features to our shows to assist the retailers – the Seminars and the Business Advice Clinic at London Bridal Week have been developed to help create a better understanding of crucial topics like social media, advertising, staffing issues, and accounts. This expert advice is free, so why not take advantage of it? In this digital world it’s great to have personal contact with your suppliers, and to meet the designers. This is just one of the many benefits a B2B exhibition can deliver. The bridal industry has always been based

on personal relationships, and an exhibition provides retailers with the opportunity to touch and feel new products, discuss concerns or new incentives with the manufacturers and build relationships to make stronger bonds – something they cannot achieve by looking at a new catalogue or placing an internet order. It’s difficult to avoid temptation and easy to spend too much. You also have to consider that having the new collections are an important part of running a bridal shop – so plan ahead and ensure old stock

You cannot build a relationship or make stronger bonds by looking at a catalogue or placing an internet order and samples that are not repeating are sold off. It’s a good idea to do a wedding fair to sell off some stock that will generate cash flow to help with the special finds you see at the shows. Wendy Adams Head of the Bridal Portfolio, Ocean Media Group

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as ‘helping people to apply what they already know’. The problem-asker knows how to be disciplined when running their business, but not when at a show. With a NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique, I can help them make the connection between where they have this resource (at work they are disciplined) and at a big trade event where they It’s happened to the need this same resource. The fact is they already have best of us. Resolve the resource – it’s just the vanishes at the first context that has changed. pop of a Champagne cork and upon hearing ‘show offer, As a Master Practitioner of be the first, best seller, don’t NLP, I have a range of simple miss out’. and effective interventions I can use to help get them in When I’m being paid to the right frame of mind (be coach, I use a ‘Ten question disciplined, stay focused and problem solver’ to find be assertive) to attend the out what my client’s real problem is. In this case, there big shows and keep within budget and be strong face appears to be three issues: a) overspending followed by to face. My favourite is ‘The Circle of Excellence’, which guilt and buyer’s remorse is based around the idea that driven by… people have all the resources b) fear of missing out and needing to be the first to find they need to succeed. If you want to know more about a new label and… c) weak communication skills this technique (and the ten question problem solver and assertiveness in a facementioned earlier) then drop to-face environment. me an email me at Jumping to your own solution of avoiding trade shows altogether doesn’t and you’ll receive the four seem to be the answer – simple steps that can be you’re going to miss out! useful for anything in your In his book, Coaching for calendar that you’re not Performance, Sir John looking forward to. In bridal, Whitmore defines coaching there can be many of those! Maria Musgrove-Wethey Join Maria’s closed Facebook group, Bridal Business Owners


TERROR-PHONE Do you rely too much on phone relationships rather than face-t0-face ones?

Got a problem? Need advice? Wedding Trader will get the experts on the case and don’t worry – we won’t use your name, nor images. Want to get involved in giving advice? Drop me an email at

M AK I N G A DI F F E RE NCE There’s no doubt that the retail landscape continues to go through waves of change that shift emphasis and challenge tradition. Jeanette Stevens, Managing Director of Enzoani Europe, is listening to retailers’ concerns – and doing something about them

It’s the sort of ingenious idea that begs the question as to why no-one has come up with it before. Enzoani – and Jeanette in particular – has developed a way that promises to keep a bride in your shop. It is customisation with a capital C.

The way forward The new programme being launched in March 2018 is to produce one single specification sheet for every dress, And a unique service it certainly is, that lists out precisely what can and istening is one thing; taking born out of the result of conversation can’t be done – from hem length to action is something else. after conversation with retailers at modesty panels, neckline alterations And that is exactly what shows, in their shops, on the phone to customised straps, fabric changes makes Jeanette Stevens and by email. Many months of debate to boning. Also, an index of all motifs, stand out from the crowd. She’s later and a concept was born. “One fabrics, buttons used etc, complete creating change herself, in order thing that comes up time and time with order codes and pricing for to help her retailers fare better in again is the return retailers if they choose to do their this choppy own in-house customisations, will be climate. Enzoani – and Jeanette in on investment question,” she provided. It’s different for every dress “Today’s particular – has developed a says, “the need but stockists will have the information bride is very to make every at their fingertips and can plan, on the different, as way that promises to keep a sample gown work spot, how the dress that the bride likes we all know,” says Jeanette. bride in your shop for longer hard and deliver can be the one that she loves. results. It’s not just Previously, a consultant would “She is dazzled a matter of being able to recognise know the basic changes that were by options, from price to ease of a potential best seller – after all, as possible – and remember, they differ purchase. She has social media, the we all know, what sells well in one from every supplier – but not the internet, and of course her friends, area may be very different to the star stitch-by-stitch detail. Seeing a bride so information-overload is natural. I number elsewhere. It’s being able in the morning? She’s fallen for a see it as our job – as a supplier – to to offer your customer, the bride, dress, but you can’t confirm what can help drive those kinds of brides back something she cannot get elsewhere. be achieved, and how it will impact to bricks and mortar stores – our And I don’t mean an exclusive the price until you reach head office or stockists – by providing a unique collection!” a rep later in the day. The bride goes service that they will find irresistible.”


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TOUCHY-FEELY Brides can get up close and personal with fabrics with this box of tricks from Enzoani

off and is then (more often than not, thanks to social media) tempted to check around and visit other shops. That could be a lost sale. But now those lost sales could become a thing of the past, because Enzoani’s specification sheet not only lists the options, but prices each and every one of them so you can give

your customer an exact figure, not a guesstimate. Add a layer of sequinned fabric? No problem. Customise a plain skirt with added Enzoani hem lace? Easy-peasy. Change buttons? Sure thing. And it’s Jeanette’s team in Swansea who will get to work creating that dream dress, under the guidance of a group of in-house specialists,

recruited specifically to work on every customisation. Instant knowledge Each dress in the Enzoani range will carry a notated hangtag so that a consultant will know instantly what can and can’t be done with it. Documentation in the form of folders

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and online information will be readily available. And there’ll be full in-store training and Brand Ambassador training that will help staff understand the ease with which they can sell the collection. “Knowledge is power. Our feedback is showing it is inspiring and confidence-building, empowering sales consultants, and a fabulous tool for retailers to get an incredible return on their investment”. Oh, and just in case this grand plan

isn’t enough, Enzoani has created a customisation kit, which, at £150 covering material cost only, could prove to be the best purchase a shop has ever made. Brimming over with fabrics, beading, buttons, edgings and lace, it is rather like one of those fairytale surprise boxes that all girls have a weakness for. Your bride wants a different hemlace? Yes, ma’am, here’s the choice. Pearls instead of crystals? This is how it will look. You’ll

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have your customer touching, feeling and making decisions right there and then, with no need to check out other shops or Pinterest. Enzoani has made it easy for you and you, in turn, have made it an adventure for your customer. Isn’t this what win:win is all about? For further information, contact: +44 (0)1792 586615




Q&A M ODECA’S NEW STAR Dutch house Modeca has a new name heading up the design team. Meet Alden Misolas, who says his new role gives him wings to fly


odeca Bridal has a long history, spanning more than 70 years. From small beginnings in 1946 as a little shop that sold lace, buttons and other haberdashery items, it moved into bespoke bridalwear, and started an uphill spiral that continues to raise the bar with each passing season. Today, owner and director Dick van Zutphen is leading an international business with a network of stockists in more than 60 countries; he is justly proud of the company’s growth and delighted to get a colleague and friend over the years, I would not be Alden Misolas, on board. Getting ready to launch surprised at all if Modeca 2019 collections (first at Rome Bridal big volumes start to Week, then London make their mark ExCel, then Interbride), Alden has been focused on the industry particularly on a new line Modeca Collection – Curves, which promises to bring high-fashion design to a capsule plus-size collection. He will also oversee the strong team that creates the trends for Modeca Bridal, and the collections in the company portfolio, Modeca Collection, Le Papillon by Modeca and the buzzy separates range, Jazz by Modeca. So let’s find out more about him…

Hello, Alden. First of all, where are you from, where did you study, and what made you fall in love with bridal? Originally I’m from the Philippines. I attended the Antwerp Fashion Academy and trained as a ready-to-wear designer, covering a whole range of sectors from womenswear to menswear to childrenswear to accessories. Back in 2000, Dick Van Zutphen introduced me to bridalwear – it was a completely new field for me and one with very different demands. Until then, I knew little about the special structures, about boning, about the embellishments that make bridal design stand out on its own; I had to learn so much – from construction ADVENTUROUS to detailing to beadwork Alden describes the Le and lace applications. Papillon by Modeca range as And the more I learned, “affordable Dutch couture” A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 31

the more fascinated I became and the more immersed in developing new silhouettes and special features. What was it like joining Modeca Bridal? The opportunity to work with a highly-talented international design team who are open to new ideas was irresistible. Especially when you couple that with the freedom to be creative, the company’s ethos of moving ahead season after season, and my own passion for all things bridal – it felt like such a natural progression for me.

What silhouettes will be leading the way in 2019? Soft unstructured dresses with flow will continue to be important, but I would not be surprised if big volumes start to make their mark.

What can we expect to see from the new collections? We’ve introduced subtle new differences between Modeca Collection and the Le Papillon by Modeca line to underpin the personality of each. Modeca Collection takes the classical and updates it with a refined touch of sexiness, while Le Papillon is young, fresh, adventurous – I call it affordable Dutch couture! Our separates line, Jazz Who or what are your greatest design influences? by Modeca, includes (along with the mix-and-match body I do follow closely what is happening at the top of the ready-to-wear sector and often translate those elements tops) skirts and pants, and a plain crepe dress that takes over to bridal. The work of couture icons, such as Christian on a different look according to the top that’s added. It’s a Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix fashionable collection and a relaxed look. At the shows, our stockists will see Modeca Collection – Curves, a small have also inspired me and continue to do so. capsule collection of around nine dresses, from size 18 up. Do you have favourite fabrics that you are introducing Modeca into the various Modeca Bridal labels? +31 854 899 270 I have a passion for many fabrics, from soft chiffons to crisp taffetas to mikado, which has its own line and structure – there are different ways to use each of them.

The Detail MODECA COLLECTION Fabrics: Lace, tulle, mikado, chiffon, crepe, organza Colours: Ivory, nude, blush, grey, mocha RRP: £990-£1,700+ MODECA COLLECTION CURVES Fabrics: Lace, tulle, chiffon, crepe Colours: Ivory, nude RRP: £1,200-£1,650+ LE PAPILLON BY MODECA Fabrics: Lace, tulle, chiffon, organza, pleated chiffon Colours: Ivory, sand, Champagne, blush, nude, salmon, blue, mocha, grey, black RRP: £1,200-£1,900+ JAZZ BY MODECA Fabrics: Lace, tulle, crepe, chiffon, pleated chiffon, ruffled tulle Colours: Ivory, sand RRP: £550-£600+ CHARMING CURVES This year sees the launch of a new collection from Modeca: Curves 32 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

DUTCH DELIGHT The main Modeca Collection has a glamour boho feel to it with floaty chiffon



4 - 5 MARCH



24 - 26 MARCH


25 - 27 MARCH

Exhibiting at London Bridal Week, stand D47. For more information call George Efstratiou on +44 (0)7834 606229, Maria or Simon Ryan on +44 (0)1443 222600, or email

BUSY BARÇA Over 18,000 visitors are expected, so make sure to get a seat for the catwalks!

BRAVO BARC E LO N A It’s a big and beautiful show – for many the highlight of the year. Wedding Trader caught up with Estermaria Laruccia, the director of BBFW, to see how the 2018 edition is shaping up

and elevate its status to become a leader on the calendar of events in the bridal world. We followed this strategy during the last editions with optimum results. And now, BBFW (thanks to its wide representation in the bridal fashion industry) is the best platform for you to exchange, inspire and discover the world trends and can it can be invigorating for your business.

How many retailers do you expect this year, and how long will each say? We believe we will have more than 18,000 visitors,including retailers, influencers, press, and wedding planners in Barcelona. The This is the fourth year BBFW has professionals who visit us are not been under the Fira de Barcelona only retailers, but also manufacturers, umbrella. What has the growth distributors, exporters, artisans, fabric pattern been like? producers, designers, technicians, Fashion, internationality and market tailors, seamstresses and creative representation are the key words that people from all around the world. It have governed the show’s growth in recent years. The number of exhibitors is important to remember that our offering is not only bridal gowns, but has increased by an average of 15 also occasionwear and ceremony percent each year in all sectors. dresses, as well as accessories and However, the growth has been even greater when it comes to international communion dresses. brands, which represented 50 percent of total brands in 2014. It now accounts And how many exhibitors will you be expecting to attend? for 67 percent… At the two-month stage ahead of this year’s April event, we had 306 Was a new strategy in place at the companies that had confirmed (67 start when Fira de Barcelona took percent of which are international, over? Or has the event been shaped coming from 28 countries). The UK, and reshaped each year? the US, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, From the beginning, the major goal Germany, Turkey, France and Portugal has been to develop the exhibition

are all key countries, with 43 brands coming from the UK alone. What is the criteria for exhibitors? When it comes to picking exhibitors, we focus on the quality of the offers and to ensure they provide a real representation of the market. Can the show grow even further? Yes, but we will always prioritise quality over quantity. What are the key highlights of the exhibition? The show will be open to all professional visitors, accredited press and VIP guests selected by our exhibitors. This year, the fashion show programme will be one full day longer than previous years, with more than 25 important firms taking to the stage on 23-27 April. The trade show itself runs from 27-29 April – that overlapping day therefore guarantees the crossover of interests that has been requested by exhibitors in the past. And the media – from which countries do you pull in the press? We do focus on the countries that form part of our commercial strategy and also the publications that cover international bridal fashion, as well as bloggers and influencers. There is no doubt that the industry worldwide is less steady than it was

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KEEP AN EYE OUT There will be lots to see at Barcelona – over 300 companies will be showcasing their wares

five years ago. Do you see things improving and, if not, what is your advice to retailers? Many of them are currently running scared because of the sharp growth of high street, buyit-now brands… Bridal stores need to evolve now more than ever before because they are facing a real challenge. They have to adapt themselves to the ways the millenials think and shop, starting with social media, the internet and blogs. BBFW, together with Professor José Luis Nueno of IESE (the graduate business school of the University of Navarra), will be examining the trends and studying the options that technology can offer to bridal retailers and consumers, something that could be beneficial for retailers to attend. Who are some of the major names who will show at BBFW? I would highlight Reem Acra from the US, who will be the star of the Bridal Night with her 2019 collection; Peter Langner from Italy; Australian Bo and Luca and Temple; the American Justin Alexander; Morilee, Demetrios, Allure, Maggie Sottero, Carmen Marc Valvo, Enzoani, Beautiful and Badgley Mischka; Caroline Castigliano, Charlie Brear, Ellis, Halfpenny London and Katya from the UK. From Turkey will be Cagteks Bridal; from Romania Cristina Savolesku and Elsa Atelier, from Poland Anna Kara, from Lebanon Esposa Couture Plume. Helena

Kolan and Liz Martinez will join us from Israel, Lusan Mandongus from Hong Kong; Marylise from Belgium… and there will be many more, too! Among the Spanish names will be Pronovias, Rosa Clará, YolanCris, Jesus

BBFW is the best platform for you to inspire and discover the world trends. It’s so invigorating for your business Peiró, Isabel Sanchís, Sophie et Voilà Collection, Cristina Tamborero, Marco y María and Ramón Bundó. Plus, for the first time, Catalan haute couture label Tot-Hom will be with us. Do you offer any deals to retailers, like free accommodation, travel and so on? We have a buyers’ programme, but it’s not only about covering hotel nights, but mainly about offering support to help them get to know all the brand offerings at BBFW that can be a business opportunity for them. What would you class as your competition? Are there too many shows on the international circuit? It is true that Europe offers a variety of tradeshows. However, it’s also true that each of them has its own

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format and characteristics. Barcelona has a unique formula – it’s very well respected in the industry, combining the collection presentations on the catwalk and the tradeshow in the same space. We’re convinced this is one the keys of our success. What are your views on sub-brands being offered by some of the big manufacturers? Do they confuse the market by trying to cover all of the price points? The market is plural, just as brides themselves are. Not everybody can afford a certain amount to buy a dress, even if it is the most desired and important dress of her life. And designers and producers are just responding to this need. Are you already working on 2019? Do you envisage it being very different? Yes, we are already working on the 2019 edition, but it is far too early to talk about it at the moment! We need to concentrate all our attention in the upcoming edition, first! WHEN: Catwalks 23-27 April, Trade show 27-29 April WHERE: Fira de Barcelona


Wanna be a part For many, it’s the greatest city in the world. Fitting, then, that you can expect to see fashion collections that will make your jaw drop at The Knot COUTURE in New York this April


a surprise of original thinking. What is he city that never sleeps especially loved about COUTURE is is also one of the fashion the atmosphere of the place – it’s quite capitals of the world, where different to the usual style of trade international designers shows, with open display areas, twists clamour to exhibit at the twice-yearly shows run by The Knot. They are a key and turns of layout. Its somewhat lack name in all areas of wedding planning in of structure and layout formality makes the US, known to every bride and, in the for a friendly and relaxed environment, whatever the work pressures. It is, quite case of trade events, every buyer too, simply, a pleasure to be there. from the west coast to the east. The venue for this spectacle of bridal The next edition of this biannual expo (April and October are the months) will delights is the Metro Pavilion, in the desirable be staged 15-17 Chelsea April and now, The Knot COUTURE is in a class region of with the demise Manhattan. last year of the of its own for launching new It’s a sleek Piers show, it talent and connecting iconic building promises to be and based bigger and better industry brands with both centrally, than ever. buyers and media alike which will The Knot appeal to COUTURE, buyers (it’s only a stone’s throw away now in its 20th year, is a brilliant from 18th Street Metro station). The hunting ground where buyers and ground floor alone has over 25,000 press alike connect and explore what square feet of open event space, but top names will be delivering in the because of the clever positioning of seasons ahead. And it never fails to stands, you never feel overwhelmed delight with new names that serve up

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and that, to regular NY visitors, was one of the problems with New York Bridal Week down at the Piers – in no time at all you lost all sense of direction because of the seemingly never-ending aisles and the similarity of every one. The opening hours for the April event are 9am to 6pm on the Sunday and Monday and 9am to 4pm on the Tuesday, so there is time to make your way from floor to floor and stand to stand at an easy pace. This time round expect to see 95 luxury collections at The Metro Pavilion. Among these there will be big-hitters such as Casablanca, Mon Cheri, Justin Alexander, Paloma Blanca, Kariena May, Allure, Eddy K, Moonlight Bridal, Val Stefani and Nicole Milano and accessories brands like Canadian Malis Henderson, whose headdresses and veils are nothing short of fabulous. The COUTURE Show is not open to the general public and it does not permit entry to bloggers, planners, nor anyone that is not a verified buyer of bridal fashion for retail to attend. As with any major city or event, you

FASHION CENTRAL The Knot COUTURE takes place in southern Manhattan, in glorious New York City

can expect security measures to be in place. However, exhibitors are allowed to invite guests. All invited (non-retailer) guests (such as suppliers) must present a business card or a letter of introduction from the inviting exhibitor or a show invitation, as well as personal identification (such as a driver’s license or passport and so on) at the COUTURE registration desk. Important to remember, that – the last thing you want is to travel all that way and not be allowed entry because you’ve forgotten something as minor as an invite! There are 15 runway shows across



of it

the three days, where iPhones, iPads and even cameras (remember those?) will be capturing the pieces that buyers want to consider. We’ve said it before – New York is a city that can flex its fashion muscles when it wants. And talking of photos, more than 21 million social media impressions were made at the previous show– with one Instagram image getting over 63,000 Likes alone! (Do you use social media when attending such events? You should.) We’ll leave you with this, from Jennifer Davidson, the Global Fashion Director

of The Knot. “I love the ease, warmth and energy of The Knot COUTURE,” she says. “It is in a class by itself for launching new talent and connecting iconic industry brands with buyers and media alike.” You can see the complete list of exhibitors and register to attend the event at April 15-17 Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street New York, NY10011

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GLOBAL SCALE Many international brands will be present, including Belarusian label Rara Avis (below, right)

Kicking off the bridal season in the US is the Chicago Bridal Market. Held in an exhibition hall so large it takes up the best part of two whole city blocks, it’s safe to say that buyers at this event will see plenty of collections that will set pulses racing The proposition The National Bridal Market in Chicago has boasted the largest gathering for all categories in the bridal industry for more than 40 years now. Chicago continues to be the largest attended show for both domestic and international designers, manufacturers and discovering new

talent and doesn’t look to change this trend any time soon. The venue The Chicago Bridal Market is housed in the magnificent Merchandise Mart (known as theMART), a historical building built in the 1930s. Art Deco in style, theMART is the world’s largest commercial building. It has recently benefitted from a major renovation to bring the show floor up to stateof-the-art standards, thus providing the stage to host breathtaking events for buyers, all the while remaining a relaxing atmosphere. theMART truly is an icon of the city, boasting 4.2 million square feet, and the fact it spans two city blocks and rises a whopping 25 stories, you’ll understand when we advise you to consider downloading the info pack in advance in order to take a look at the map and layout! Chicago O’Hare

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International Airport is not too far away and neither are 5-star hotels – plus there are discounted hotel rates for the show’s attendees. The timing The show is scheduled for Sunday 18 March until Tuesday 20 March, which kicks off the bridal buying season in the US. By being scheduled early, the stores are able to get a feel for the trends and the buying power to get product in early for their clients. The collections Over 126 companies will be at the National Bridal Market, presenting over 350 lines. These will include bridal labels such as Justin Alexander, Essence of Australia, Allure, and Christina Wu as well as designer labels like Stephen Yearick and Lotus Threads. Also present will be special occasionwear from Loré and Camilyn

Beth, accessories from US labels including Jubilee Jones, and many key plus size collections. There is lots to get excited about!

What are they doing to spread the word? Jane Heflin, the Director of Sales at theMART, explained their approach to us: “We are expanding our reach to international clients who are The visitors This show has serious pulling power. It searching for a well-organised and draws the largest number of retailers busy show in the US,” she says. “We have increased our staff with a from all 50 states in the US, and over new social media marketing person 26 countries worldwide. dedicated to helping our clients reach the retailers with their new designs Special extras and product info. Also, we have The National Bridal Market is also increased our social media outreach hosting important training seminars with direct email, more category covering social media, retaining employees and store operations, plus postings and have expanded our retail merchandising with one-on-one dedication to accessories companies and are highlighting companies who consultations with a top retail store produce plus size dresses.” designer. This year they are welcoming 26 18-20 March new designers and creative product lines to continue bringing up-to-date 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 7th Floor ingenuity for retailers to purchase and Market Suites, Chicago, IL 60654 have ready for clients.

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IMPRESSION AT ESSEN More than 350 carefully selected brands will be hoping to make an impression on you at Essen this year


The annual show in Essen, timed to present the new collections as early as possible in the season, includes some great labels that you simply won’t find elsewhere. Not forgetting, of course, the big names on every European retailer’s have-to-have list

UNDER ONE ROOF Being able to see a wealth of collections – everything from bridal gowns, occasion and menswear, accessories, as well as childrenswear all – in one place and right at the very start of the buying season is as good as it can possibly get for retailers. It ensures that they have deliveries early and, if wanted, spread across the months. This way, their stock is always refreshed with the very latest looks.

As every boutique owner is all too well aware, today’s brides know what they want, and they want it now. They are fashion-savvy and follow the latest trends. They are confident. They are curious – ready always to try out new things and experiment with new looks. Bridal style directions undergo change every season so managing to get ahead of the game is vital for retailers, whatever the taste and purse strings of their customers might be. 42 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

Now in its fourth year, European Bridal Week will launch more ranges than ever – from the big-name international brands with exceptional reputations for their design and production qualities and offer brilliant support to their stockists, to small labels that have already proven their ability to surprise and delight. The mix of carefully-curated brands – more than 350 this year – is impressive; they are specifically selected and required

to meet the exhibition’s exacting criteria, which means retailers can be confident they are purchasing the best from the best. Familiar names include Justin Alexander, Raimon Bundó, Cymbeline, Nicole Fashion, Kenneth Winston, Impero Couture, Eternity Bridal, Jillian, Weise, Dessy, Mark Lesley, Toi Sposa, Diane Legrand, Bianco Evento, Sophia Tolli, Amélie GmbH and Grupo Noiva. More than 4,000 visitors are

expected to attend the show, coming from 45 countries, while exhibitors themselves represent 21 countries. The organisers reckon on action-packed days with buyers viewing, reviewing, comparing and consolidating. There is a programme of catwalk shows running across the event, a ‘fashion avenue’, restaurants, coffee corners, and a bound-to-be-mobbed Champagne bar. Hotel deals and

shuttle bus services help make attendance easy. Visit for updates on exhibitors and to register.

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PLUS ONE INTERBRIDE are looking to tackle the add-on sales for those accompanying the bride


Special occasion wear perfectly reflects the current zeitgeist But let’s backtrack, and talk a bit more about the occasionwear angle and the market-leading brand, Unique. The market figures prove that eveningwear European brand ‘Unique’. The trade is currently enjoying an upsurge in he INTERBRIDE Fashion Fair show organisers believe that this popularity. What has been an ongoing will be held in Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre for the sixth segment will grow significantly in future, trend in the USA has now also arrived so the evening wear ordering business in Europe. time this May. The flocks of “Essentially, we are talking about two international visitors can look forward to is bound to attract a great number of additional visitors. closely related markets here,” explains a completely redesigned hall concept INTERBRIDE’S Hermann Thole. “Both this year, where they will experience involve extensive consultations and a cluster dedicated to evening and Special occasionwear are extremely service-oriented, as the special occasion wear for the first time. is pushing up the customers decide to visit a specialist The reason for this is as simple as it retailer with high expectations. Like a is obvious. In the bride’s circle alone, industry’s turnover figure wedding, any occasion that calls for the mother of the bride, the maid of and has also increased evening wear is always a very special honour, the bridesmaids and all of the event, so the specialist retailers must wedding guests need suitable outfits. the buyer spectrum also apply the entire spectrum of their Throughout the year, there are many expertise to the consultation: Their inother special occasions such as school depth knowledge of fabrics, the latest leaving balls and proms, formal dinners… INTERBRIDE visitors will experience future fashion trends, as the fashions and matching accessories; The list of life events go on. You, as international specialist retailers will they must also offer a wide choice and buyers, cannot ignore this! order what will be in fashion for brides an alteration service.” As a result, more than 30 specialist and grooms in 2019 a year before that at Thole has been advising the trade manufacturers will show their this trade show in Düsseldorf. show’s management team for the collections there, including the top

Hermann Thole explains what ace INTERBRIDE have up their sleeve in Düsseldorf this year – the Exhibition Centre has even been redesigned with this angle in mind!


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past year. Before joining the team, he managed his own bridal fashion shop for more than 30 years, which also sold evening wear. “The specialist retailers will see the latest trends at the INTERBRIDE,” he continues. “More than 30 international specialists will be coming to the show this year to present their collections. That is an amazing number compared to other international trade shows.”

same area,” says Thole, “we have improved the hall layout and have also significantly reduced the distances the visitors have to cover, which makes the experience more comfortable for them. Considering their packed ordering schedules, they are bound to appreciate this. There are also seating areas and bars along the Avenue where the visitors can recharge their batteries and network.”

Premiere: Evening and special occasion wear in a separate cluster The organisers have dedicated an extra area of more than 2,000 square metres in fully booked Hall 8a to this up-and-coming segment, thereby indicating its clearly important role in what’s happening at the trade show. The hall concept has been redesigned and now features an additional highlight with this new cluster. Thanks to the new hall concept, the flow of visitors will now pass all stands on the ‘Avenue of Emotions’ circular route. “By presenting related companies with a similar target group in the

A fashion segment that is taking off Special occasion wear is fashionable, with women as well as with men. It’s pushing the industry’s turnover figures up and has also increased the buyer spectrum. Young women in particular have long celebrated the purchase of a party outfit and come to the shop together with their friends; while for male buyers, the prom has now become the second-most important reason for purchasing a ‘going out’ outfit after their own wedding. Is there such a thing as add-on purchases alongside bride-to-bes? Hermann Thole’s experiences certainly

confirm this. “Additional purchases by those accompanying the bride represent real sales opportunities. I believe that one result of this is an extremely important point – of course, a wedding is all about the bridal couple. However, the reception guests make an important contribution to the wedding; their looks and outfits can turn a mere party into a truly festive occasion.” To read more information about all of the exhibitors, visit Daniela Wittig INTERBRIDE Press Officer T: 05 61 - 40 09 62 52 E:

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Visit us on STAND C7 to view the NEW collection

WHAT IS IT? Milan Bridal Week is the perfect opportunity to catch the challenge of a market that is changing, where new collections of bridal, evening, menswear and accessories will be presented. WHEN IS IT? This promises to be a glamorous four-day weekend, spanning from Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April. Opening hours of Sì Sposaitalia Collezioni for exhibitors will kick off at 8:30 am on that initial Friday, usually running on through to 7.00 pm, but the show ends at 4.00 pm on the Monday. THE VENUE Milano Bridal Week will be held at Fiera Milano, one of the top exhibition centres in Italy and the whole world. Folks are starting to make lofty high expectations of Milan Bridal Week, what with professional expertise and cutting-edge facilities on offer. In terms of location, Fiera Milano is in a strategic spot within Milan, with the nearest Metro underground station (Rho Fiera Milano) within walking distance. Milan’s largest international airport, Malpensa, is on the same western side of the city for added ease of access. THE COLLECTIONS At least 120 exhibitors are expected, with the mixture of Italian brands expected (such as Bianco Evento, Esposa Couture, Jillian and Luisa Sposa), as well as the big international brands. We’ve listed all of them for you! 6-9 April sposaitaliacollezioni.


Milano Bridal Week FU L L L I ST O F CO L LECTI O N S Ana Torres Andrea Versali Cerimonia Angelotoma Anna Bella Anna Cecere Anny Lin Bridal Antonio Riva Milano Aura Headpieces Bellantuono Bridal Group Bellantuono Le Collezioni Bellantuono Sartoria Bianco Evento Blumarine Sposa Calzoleria Marini Dal 1945 Capri Sposa Carla Catherine Deane Charlie Brear Chic Nostalgia Corizzi Costantino Creazioni Maria Pia Cymbeline Paris Dalin Diplomatica Dominiss Dorotex Dovita Bridal Dreamteam Sposa Eddy K Elihav Sasson Elisabetta Polignano Emiliano Bengasi Couturier Esposa Couture Fashion Trade Ferracuti Gaby Charbachy Galizia Spose Gatti Nolli Couture Gemy Maalouf Bridal

Giovanna Sbiroli Ghirardelli Black Tie Hannibal Laguna Atelier Innocentia Iris Noble Italcopri Jillian Katya Katya Kisui Berlin Lambert Creations Lebole Cerimonia Leila Hafzi Le Rose & Co Spose Lexus Liceo Modisteria Lilly Linea Raffaelli Lorenz Cerimonia Lucciano Rivieri Luigi Convertini Cerimonia Luisa Sposa Lusan Mandongus Madam Burcu Maestrami Magnani Bridal Couture Maison Signore Manila Manila Novias Manu Garcia Mara Vallone Marcela De Cala Maria Coca Marylise Matilde Cano Menbur Mg Arcione Miss Kelly – The sposa Group Modeca Collection Le Papillon By Modeca

Monica Loretti Ms Moda Musani Couture Musani Uomo Mysecret Sposa Nicky Vankets Nicole Fashion Group Nugnes Couture Shoes Nugnes Sposa Shoes Nuribel Collection Nuribel Couture Nuribel Style Nb Couture Pancaldi&B Papilio Pat Maseda Petrelli Uomo Pollardi Prive’ Regina Schrecker Rita Mode Rosa Rueda Rosanna Perrone Saboroma Sadoni Saiid Kobeisy Scribano 1966 Serrese Sophie Et Voila’ Sonia Peña Susanna Rivieri Susanna Rivieri Donna Tarik Ediz Tosca Spose Trilogy Valerio Luna Vanilla Sposa Vg Zolotas Vinni’ Watters Yiju

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Bridesmaid Collections Each month, we will be bringing you a snapshot view of a particular market sector so that you have an easy reference to the key players, what they have to offer, and how to make contact with them

COLOUR BY KENNETH WINSTON Personality: Versatility for bridesmaids. We take pride in offering a colour for every occasion and thse designs will help you stand out from the crowd Fabrics: Print chiffon, chiffon, Crepe, Tulle Colours: Over 70 colour choices Number of pieces: 20 Size range: US 0-28 Retail price range: £110- £250 T: 01765 530282 W:

D’ZAGE BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Young fun and flirty Fabrics: Lace, chiffon, satin and sequins Colours: Good selection of colours Number of pieces: 10-15 in collections Delivery from date of order: 12 weeks Size range: US 0-28 (some styles have matching for juniors) Retail price range: Wholesale from £55 – sold to retailers as package or given free depending on turnover T: 0208 502-2257 W:

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CHRISTINA WU CELEBRATION Personality: Young, fun and formal Fabrics: Chiffon, satin, tulle, sequin, jersey, sparkle knit, lace Colours: 50+ Number of pieces: 70 Delivery from date of order: Three, five, seven or nine week forward-order options as well as in-stock items Size range: 0-36 Retail price range: £149- £279 T: +44 (0)8707 707670 W:

THE DESSY GROUP – SOCIAL BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Offers modern and glamorous bridesmaids styles Fabrics: Lux Chiffon, Matte Chiffon, Lux Shimmer, Marquis Lace,  Maracaine Colours:  80+ colours Number of pieces: 28 Delivery from date of order: 8 weeks Size range: US 0-30 Retail price range: £168 to £231 T: 01909 774444 W:

DYNASTY LONDON / SPIRIT Personality: Statement gowns, sassy and spirited. Predominantly edgier, fun and sexy, eye catching, dazzling Fabrics: Chiffon and jerseys Colours: Vibrant Colours Number of pieces: 65-100 Delivery from date of order: Work from stock delivery within 48 hours Size range: 4-18 Retail price range: £299 T: 02087 360200 W:

EBONY ROSE Personality: Elegant bridesmaid dresses that are inspired by real women and true romance Fabrics: Chiffon, satin, charmeuse, crepe, jersey, lace, metallic, organza, tulle Colours: 90+ Number of pieces: Approx 36 Size range: UK4-UK30 Retail price range: £POA T: 0344 3240324 W:

THE DESSY GROUP Personality: Dessy Collection Fabrics: Lux chiffon, lux shimmer, Marquis lace, crepe, Florentine lace, Elle sequin, Mikado, Gabriella lace, Rococo lace, Lurex, Maracaine Jersey, Sateen Twill and soft tulle   Colours:  80+ colours Number of pieces: 101 Delivery from date of order: 8 weeks Size range: US 0-30 Retail price range: £212 to £286 T: 01909 774444 W:

ELIZA AND ETHAN Personality: Boho, romantic≤ flirty. One dress, but over 22 ways for you to wear it! There’s a style here for the broadest range of personalities Fabrics: Jersey Colours: 30 different colours Number of pieces: 1 dress Delivery from date of order: 1-4 weeks Size range: 1 size 8-18 Retail price range: £185 T: 02080128494 W:

TRUE BRIDESMAIDS BY TRUE BRIDE Personality: Dressing real women to feel their most flattered and most stylish Fabrics: Chiffon, beaded tulle, crepe, tulle tea lengths and satin Colours: Over 70 chiffon/satin colours and a lace colour palette of 35 shades Number of Pieces: Almost 100 pieces Delivery: 14-16 weeks Sizes: UK 6 - 36 Price range: £79 - £117 T: 01273 736622 W:

HAYLEY PAIGE OCCASIONS Personality: Young, fun, with fashionforward colours Fabrics: Chiffon, lace, satin, English net, sparkly caviar and crepe Colours: Blush and Dusty Rose to Platinum, Silver, Mauve and Navy. Number of pieces: 21 pieces Delivery from date of order: 12/14 weeks Size range: 0 to 28 Price range: £220 to £310 T: 01423 873320 W: A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 49

KELSEY ROSE Personality: Dresses for the discerning bride and her bridal party. Versatile, wearable, and innately feminine. Refreshingly modern Fabrics: Crepe Colours: Available in 20 colours Number of pieces: 30 Delivery from date of order: 12 weeks Size range: 6-28 Retail price range: £199 to £240 T: +44 (0)20 8888 8833 W:

LA PETITE BY HAYLEY PAIGE Personality Gorgeous, precious outfits for your petite bridal party members Fabrics Fabrics to echo Hayley Paige’s Bridal collection Colours Ivory, Alabaster, Orchid Number of pieces 6 pieces including the T-shirt and tutu combination Delivery from date of order: 12-14 weeks Size range 2-10 Retail price range £150 to £250 T: 01423 873320 W:

LUNA COLLECTION BY NICKI FLYNN Personality: Red carpet designs inspired by vintage Hollywood icons Fabrics: Chiffon, crepe, satin Colours: Over 70 chiffon/satin colours and a lace colour palette of 35 shades Number of Pieces: Over 70 Delivery: 14-16 weeks with a 12 week rush order Sizes: UK 6-36 Price range: £95-£135 T: 01273 736622 W:

MAIDS TO MEASURE Personality: Young, fashionable, but with a classic twist Fabrics: Chiffon, soft satin and crepe Colours: 18 Number of pieces: 12 pieces Delivery from date of order: Maximum of 12 weeks (most of collection is in stock and can be sent next day) Size range: 8-24 Retail price range: £145-£225 T: 02077 513097 W:

MARK LESLEY BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Glamorous, sumptuous flowing fabrics Fabrics: Chiffon, Mikado, satin, crepe, shimmer Colours: 100 different shades in chiffon and satin Number of pieces: Approximately 50 Delivery from date of order: August Size range: 6-30 Retail price range: £POA T:01621 784784 W:

MOTEE MAIDS Personality: Create your own range of dresses: exquisite hand embellishments, elegant silhouettes, fabrics and colours. Fabrics: Georgette and Tulle Colours: 9 Number of pieces: Over 500 different combinations! Delivery from date of order: 6-12 weeks Size range: 6 to 22 Retail price range: £195 to £270 T: 07967170774 W:

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ROMANTICA BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Classic, elegant, timeless styles to flatter every bridesmaid. Will match perfectly to your personality Fabrics: Soft chiffon/satin, sequin, lace, stretch and Georgette Colours: Over 60 colours available Number of pieces: 26 styles in our latest 2018 S/S collection Size range: 6-32 Retail price range: £95-£285 T: 01823 674 412 W:

THEIA Personality: Young, modern, fashion-forward, offering a signature sequin style Fabrics: Sequin Colours: Hunter, Black, Garnet, Matte Gold, Matte Rose Gold, Navy, Smoke Number of pieces: 45 Delivery from date of order 8 weeks Size range 0-28L Retail price range: $290 T: 1.212.354.4700 x2475 W:

THE DESSY GROUP – JENNY PACKHAM Personality: A beautiful, elegant collection, inspired by the English country garden Fabrics: Lux Chiffon, Lux Shimmer, Marquis lace, crepe and soft tulle   Colours:  80+ colours Number of pieces: 10 Delivery from date of order: 8 weeks Size range: US 0-30 Retail price range: £245-£295 T:01909 774444 W:

VEROMIA BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Stylish chic and fashionable, just the thing for your lovely ladies Fabrics: Chiffon and laces Colours: Wonderful array of colours Number of pieces: 12 per collection Delivery from date of order: 12 weeks Size range: US0 to US 28 Retail price range: All wholesale at £49 – sold as discounted packages T: 0208 502 2257 W:

WTOO BRIDESMAIDS Personality: A fresh taken on bridesmaids dresses Fabrics: Bobbinet, chiffon, lace and sequin Colours: 63 choices – albeit, fabric-dependant Number of pieces: 77 styles Delivery from date of order: Approximately 12 weeks Size range: US 0-32 Retail price range: £160-250 W:

WATTERS BRIDESMAIDS Personality: Bridesmaid dresses for those who applaud quality design Fabrics: Bobbinet, chiffon, lace and sequin Colours: 43 choices – albeit, fabric–dependant Number of pieces: 107 styles Delivery from date of order: Approximately 12 weeks Size range: US 0-24 Retail price range: £200-500 W: A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 51

PATTERNS From classic jacquard to painterly, bold florals, mother of the bride styles are leaning away from plain and towards patterns. Metallic embroidery works well for weddings in the

with florals for spring and summer.


mums can’t go wrong


cooler months, while






It’s not just brides who want to show off their figures – mothers often want a balance between fashionable and flattering, too! The peplum is perfect for this, because it’s a chic design detail that highlights the waist without being too much of a statement. Expect to see them on skirts and dresses over the next few seasons.

From embracing tradition to breaking it, we’re seeing more designers include pale creams and neutrals in their mother of the bride collections. Although neutrals have always been popular for mother of the bride designs, mums are now embracing lighter, more bride-adjacent shades, which is a reflection of the increasingly popular trend for bridesmaids in ivory or white.






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OFF-THE-SHOULDER Another trend that has made its way over from the bridal catwalk to mums is the off-the-shoulder neckline. A versatile cut that ranges from deep vintage-inspired bardots to the more modest bateau, an off-the-shoulder bodice puts a modern twist on a traditional silhouette.


Headwear Although wedding hats are no longer the staple they once were, the mothers of the bride and groom are likely to invest in a headpiece or fascinator. We’re expecting that the royal wedding will bring on a surge in popularity for larger, more formal hats and hairpieces, so having some to hand is wise.








Modern cover-ups The tailored jacket is an absolute classic, but why not consider some alternative options to offer mothers? Floaty chiffon shawls, cropped, minimal jackets and faux fur throws are just some of the cover-ups we’ve seen in recent collections.












Mother of the bride TRENDS

Plenty of brides still share their boutique shopping experience with their mothers. Let’s view some of these popular styles

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BR I G H T S Pastels and neutrals are mainstays of the mother of the bride collection, but we’re increasingly seeing brighter shades crop up as brides encourage the mothers to stand out. This season we’re expecting the tropical neon trend to translate to shades of hot pink, corals and chartreuse for mums.

BRANDS WE LOVE Veni Infantino Ronald Joyce’s internationally renowned occasionwear label is one of the leading UK mother of the bride collections. The line combines luxurious fabrics and sophisticated styling with Ronald Joyce’s signature figure-flattering cuts.

CA RLA RUI Z For fresh, modern styles with plenty of pizazz, we recommend Spanish design house Carla Ruiz. Based out of Malaga, this European brand is characterised by a vibrant colour palette, chic patterns and impeccable tailoring, and is stocked in over 35 countries worldwide.

Gina Bacconi British brand Gina Bacconi have been in the fashion business since 1913! Their background in contemporary womenswear gives their mother of the bride collection a modern, approachable feel,with dresses and jackets all designed to reflect the latest trends.

J O HN CHAR LES A dedicated womenswear and mother of the bride design house, London-based John Charles is highly respected in the UK market. With classic British styling and craftsmanship, John Charles offer a fantastic blend of traditional and trend-led styles that make them a solid choice.

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The Veromia Group are known for their wide-ranging collections, and it’s no different when it comes to occasionwear, as they boast four separate collections: Dressed Up, Dress Code, Irresistible and Veromia Occasions. Dress Code is their dedicated mother of the bride line, and features soft layered detailing, embellished fabrics and a classic colour palette.

w w w. e nzoa m

Blogger’s Best Julia Braime from Brides Up North spills all: what are the secrets to a successful blog?

Name: Julia Braime, Brides Up North When the blog launched: November 2010 Number of followers: More than 100,000 social media followers, and around 60,000 hits on average per month The blog that got the biggest ever response: Our content is inspirational rather than sensational, but we love to report on high profile trends like this: get-the-look-pippa-middleton What’s the criteria that makes one story better than another? Here at Brides Up North, it’s our aim to feature a wide range of topics, wedding styles and suppliers on the

blog to that will inform and interest readers, all while providing fabulous choice and inspiration. High-quality and beautiful photography goes a long way to making a good blog post,

Brides Up North works well as a point of content between brides and wedding suppliers within the same region

and so on. Our real wedding posts are hugely popular too, because bridesto-be are keen to see what others have achieved and see what they can do similar – or even use this as a benchmark that they could beat! Brides Up North works well as a point of content between brides to be and wedding suppliers because our readers and featured suppliers are generally in the same region.

Do you come straight out if you regard something as second-rate? because attracting readers is the initial Would you advise retailers and aim – then it’s a case of engaging consumers against it? them in captivating content. We always aim to feature high-quality Wedding trend and bridal fashion and trusted suppliers on the blog. It’s posts are among our most popular – our ethos to represent and promote our readers like to be well informed all the fabulous independent wedding and up to date with the latest styling businesses in the north of the UK, and dress collections, accessories encouraging couples to use the skills A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 57

at an A-lister’s wedding day style or how a red-carpet look could be translated for their big day. Finally, the real weddings… Readers love to hear all about another bride’s vision, how she brought it to life, and are always grateful for any golden pieces of advice or links to really great suppliers. So on a similar note, what makes a great photograph? A great photographer. An image taken by a skilled professional who has the talent to really capture the moment and emotions, making you

Blogging is a great way to keep brides informed and inspired, passing on key information in an engaging way feel as if you were there yourself. Such professionals will also catch their subjects at the most flattering angles, against a fabulous backdrop and capture that all-important light.

of the fabulous suppliers who are on their doorstep to help their big day vision come together. Through our online directory and supplier- or venue-specific posts, we introduce our readers to reputable businesses that have glowing testimonials from previous couples. We also love to champion designers and products that are ‘Made in Britain’ and support others that do the same.

Should bridal boutiques run blogs on their own website? What are the top tips for getting it right? Yes, absolutely. It’s a great way to keep brides informed and inspired, and pass In your opinion, what on key information in an engaging way makes a good story? – such as pre-appointment advice, Breaking trends or style news of designer days and events, news pieces work well. and further details on their designers. As I mentioned earlier, Try to commit to a posting schedule our readers like to be up (whether that be once a month or once to date (if not ahead of the pack). Therefore we’re a week), use gorgeous imagery, don’t always keen to keep them overwhelm readers with too much dense text, use a spell checker and informed on the latest think carefully about topics that will bridalwear collections, giving them an exclusive ‘first look’ at appeal to brides-to-be out there! a new range, talking to the designer about the inspiration or design process, or talking to boutiques about @bridesupnorth new designers they have added and why they feel they are a good fit for their boutique and brides. Do you run a blog on your boutique’s Fashion and trend forecasts go website? Perhaps you have questions down well with our readers too, as you’d like to ask fellow bloggers like well as those celebrity-inspired Julia? Drop us an email at fashion posts; whether it be a look

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M O R I L E E S TA N D C 5

HERVE is back!

The Parisienne house of Herve is re-entering the bridal market with a distinctly different option. A glorious concoction of rock power and boho that we reckon is going to impact on trends and start its own ORLÉANS We think that confident brides are going to fall in love with these new Herve designs

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ROCK CHIC This Amiens dress could blow your window design apart with an added jacket!


erve Mariage was a classic of its kind. This time round, born again as Herve Paris, caution has been thrown to the wind as designer Mireille Bleines brings together her love of the French capital and her passion for freedom of design. Her 25-piece collection is an absolute show-stopper, with cool cuts, beautiful fabrics, and incredible details. Soft and feminine, self-assured, romantic. And just when it’s got you feeling comfy, that’s when the in-your-face touches come out to play – and it’s these that make up the real personality of the new brand. A cool leather bomber, perhaps? A jeans jacket, or a massive necklace and cowboy boots to go with that? This is not red-carpet wow; this is something far more individual. This is rock star pow. And while the dresses themselves are perfectly gorgeous in every way, it’s what you can do with them that makes the statement, and that’s what Mireille wants. Think window displays for a start – team up a Herve Paris piece with your own favourite leather jacket, and boots. That’s the way to stop passers by in their tracks; the unexpected always captivates. It always thrills. Mireille Bleines is well known on the fashion circuit, and highly-respected for her bold, adventurous approach. While her heart has always been in Paris and will always remain there, she has travelled extensively discovering countries, cultures and

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RENNES ‘True Parisienne style’… And we certainly agree

LYON Your brides can make a real statement with a Herve gown

AMIENS A deep-V with a wonderful illusion neckline

LILLE The astonishing detail given to this back is just superb

different ways of living and it’s that, she claims, that’s inspired her work more than anything else. She headed up the design team of Herve Mariage until 2013 and has returned to create the new line. Her son Alexis, meanwhile, is a director of the business. But let’s get back to the details of the collection itself. There are short and sharp little dresses, long languorous gowns with gentle movement,

soft silhouettes, and a wonderful use of intricate lace, designed to almost wrap the body, but leaving teasing see-through panels. Lightweight floating chiffons come in barely there blush tones, with intricate embroidered motifs scattered over illusion sleeves. Necklines plunge, backs dip deep – sensational in a bodyhugging one-piece jumpsuit, that has a soft, unstructured jacket – a true

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touch of Parisienne style. In what is possibly the most exciting of design concepts, there is a glittering bodice, with sequins skilfully placed to replicate lace. And that’s both wow and pow! Sleek, sultry, but so romantic. If you have brides who have that certain je ne sais quoi that gives them a real sense of confidence, and a desire to make a fashion statement, then this could be the collection that they say yes to.

Herve Paris +31 85 489 92 78 RRP £950 - £1,900 Size range: UK 4-22 You can see Herve Paris at the following bridal shows… • Rome Bridal Week 24-26 March • European Bridal Week, Essen, 14-16 April • Interbride, Düsseldorf, 5-8 May


Stand Stand Stand Stand

BBEH BBEH C22/41Stand C22/41 BBEH C22/41 BBEH BBEH BBEH BBEH C22/41 C22/41 Stand C22/41 Stand C22/41Sta










TEL1522 . + 44FAX. (0) 208 965 1522 FAX. + (FASHIONS) 44E.MAIL. (0) 965 1518 WEB. 208 965 + 44 (0) 208 965 1518 FRANK SAUL LTD.E.MAIL.WEB.

Copyright © 2012 2015 Frank Saul Fashions or its©suppliers. All rights 2011. reservedAll©rights Crown copyright 2011. 2016and/ - 2019 2015 All rights reserved opyright © 2012 - 2015 Frank Saul Fashions or its suppliers. All rightsand/ reserved Crown copyright reserved



Win a Propress Steamer worth £600! Full steam ahead! We’re on a mission to find the nation’s bestdressed bridal shop windows. Does your boutique have what it takes? You could win one of three amazing Propress Steamers!


edding Trader has joined forces with Propress, the steammachine experts, who have put up not just one, not two but three professional steamers – worth nearly £600 each – for the winners of this month’s competition.

photograph or two of your bestdressed widow displays, to Don’t forget to include your name, the name of your boutique, a contact phone number and website, and a 50-word explanation of what makes this particular window work for you – plus the reason and/or inspiration behind it!

HOW TO E NTER How often do you change your window displays? We want to see the ones that you’re especially proud of – the ones that demand attention and attract customers. For a chance to win one of these great steamers, email a sharp

C LO S ING DAT E On 1 May 2018 we’ll go through all the entries and choose the three that we think stand out. Then we’ll email the three shops and to arrange delivery of their new Propress 280 steamer!

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FIVE TOP TIPS Your window display can be the thing that makes that vital first impression on a potential customer. It’s what could decide them to step inside and make an appointment with you. We asked Tim Oliver of Propress for his handy hints: • A gown with beads or sequins? It’s best to steam embellished areas from underneath. • Steam a full-skirted gown from the inside – this will put fullness back into the dress and will transform how it looks. Then drop the outer part of the dress and steam that as normal. • Use one hand to control the fabric and add a bit of tension; this can help with stubborn creases and generally makes the process easier and faster. • Don’t keep running up and down the same area – you don’t want to create damp areas that will then crease when the fabric dries. • Steam gathers and ruching from the inside/underneath to avoid putting in those pesky creases.

STEAM YOUR GOWNS WITH FULL SAFETY Propress steamers are safe to use on nearly every fabric, be it man-made or natural fibre. Unlike a steam iron, a steamer operates at a much lower temperature, so it will not scorch or burn. If you are concerned about steaming a particular fabric or dress then ask the supplier if it’s okay to steam it, or test a small, inconspicuous area. Find out more about Propress: 020 8417 0660 WRINKLE REMOVER Steamers remove creases from garments on hangers with both ease and speed

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D EL I V E R I N G SERV I C E TO RE TA I LE R S Minimums: a regular hot topic and to some retailers, a concern. Are suppliers being fair (after all, they are running a business) or are they being demanding? And are retailers looking at the whole picture? We asked four of the big names in bridal their thoughts…


t The Veromia Group we pride ourselves on our customer service. We always try to help our customers because we understand that without their business we have no business. The more help we offer them, the more successful they will be, which, naturally, benefits us. I have been on all sides of the business and worked in retail bridal for over 15 years as a manager, area manager and buyer, so I can safely say that I recognise the needs of the retailer. It’s our policy at Veromia to listen to what our retailers are saying and an important part of what they are saying is that they are tired of companies asking for minimums. We don’t have minimums. We scrapped them in September 2017 and our bridal stockists can buy what they want. We hope our customers will like our dresses enough to buy from us. We are also lucky that as we have inhouse designers and our own factory, meaning we can create any dress requirements that are not within our ranges. We also offer a loyalty card, whereby any customer who fills up the card wins vouchers. In addition, we offer free bridesmaid packages, early settlement discount and payment plans. We have no extra charges for made-to-measure and larger sizes on our bridal; all our bridal and bridesmaid collections go

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up to a size 30 (Sonsie up to a 34), and after that size we can offer a special measure. We are also prominent in the occasionwear sector with our Irresistible, Dress Code, Dressed Up and Veromia Occasions labels. We have just employed top Occasion wear designer Daniel Lee (formally head designer Frank Usher and latterly John Charles) who has joined Helen Swaine to take these collections onto the next stage, because this is now a huge percentage of The Veromia Group’s ever-growing business. Vivien Felstein Veromia 0208 502 2257


he question of minimums has arisen many times in my 35 years in this business. There were times when it did not matter, because the dresses would be sold anyway, but now the situation has totally changed.: we have the internet and high street discount stores, where dresses are being sold straight from the factory floor to the public. These large chains of high street stores are trying to muscle in on the bridal boutique business, by selling limited collections of coloured dresses in good-selling sizes 10 to 18. Indeed, some have collections of ivory dresses, to fill in for bridal. Everybody is trying to get a slice of the cake. I can see both I think that realism plays sides of the – that of the a part and people have to coin supplier, and that be sensible; do not buy a of the retailer; both of whom dress if you don’t like it – have the basic business costs you won’t sell it to consider, of wages, rent, insurance, electrics and so on. From a supplier’s point of view, they have to sell their collections. Most of the larger suppliers employ a designer, spend money on advertising, go to the big international bridal fairs, spend small fortunes on photography, models, makeup and venues for shoots. They have to recover their costs in developing a label or several labels. To do this, they have to sell dresses. This is why they have minimums. The next question is ‘what should that figure be?’. I’ve heard of six, eight, ten, and 12 quoted and some suppliers will expect a stockist to sell a certain number of pieces over the year. I could list and argue the case for all sides of the numbers. But the basic fact is that suppliers have to get a return on their investment – nobody can dispute this fact – otherwise they would not be in business. From a retailer’s perspective, the above points are the exact same, but the headings are different. The main cost to a retailer is the ‘write down’ of samples over the year, and the dresses they got wrong, the dresses that they were forced to buy from a supplier to keep the label, and did not sell. Retailers have wedding fairs, photoshoots, promotion days. They have to get a return on investments. So, where does the coin join up? I think people have to be realistic on both sides, and if realism does not fit on either side, then walk away. People

have to be sensible; do not buy a dress if you don’t like it – you won’t sell it. “Retailers and suppliers must work together, and be happy together. If they are not, then they should not do business together. Every situation is different, as is every location of every shop, and its overhead structure. Shops that sell over 500 or more bridal gowns in a year will have greater opportunities to stock larger collections. The smaller retailer who struggles to sell to 200 brides over a year will find it difficult, but will have to cut its cloth to fit its measure. Otherwise they will go out of business. Let common sense prevail. Do not buy styles just to make up a number to keep a label. If a collection is good enough, then there should be six to eight pieces that you like, and can buy. If there is not, then move on. Bernard McKenna Special Day 00 353 1 866 5882 A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 67


he word ‘minimums’ has sent shivers down the spine of retailers and suppliers alike in the 25 years I have been in the industry. At Ladybird we don’t have minimums, but they can be a necessary evil. Minimums are there to protect both sides of the supplier and retailer partnership. Suppliers use them to strike a balance between good distribution and supporting its retailers with an area of exclusivity. There is no reason minimums should be an issue. Everyone needs to be honest about what each needs and expects. Every supplier strives to achieve the highest percentage of a stores’ rail space. If you are with the right supplier then aren’t minimums irrelevant? If you struggle to choose styles from a supplier, then question if that supplier is right for you – your suppliers should be invested in your success! Ladybird believes that if its retailers are making profit, then the number of dresses they buy is irrelevant. Sometimes, driven by the fear of losing a brand, a shop doesn’t want to challenge or upset, but this is the time when 68 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

retailers need to take a long hard look at the validity of a brand. If it is not delivering for them, then perhaps it is best for both sides to part company. For many years, I had to adopt the industry standard of pushing more samples each season for the following reasons: a) sample sales make up a big part of suppliers’ turnover; b) you want the new styles to be available for brides; and c) you have Sometimes, driven by the to keep the fear of losing a brand, a shop presence of your brand at doesn’t want to cause upset, the maximum to keep out when they need to consider other brands. the validity of said brand Ladybird and I have a very different focus – retailers’ profit and sample investment return. The cost of samples is a necessary expense, but a good sample investment return generates profits and this is the measure we use to monitor our stores. New styles are great to refresh and revitalise retailers’ enthusiasm, but I would rather any order contain a mix of proven profit-making styles and replacements for tired best-selling samples. We can like lots of styles, but the ones we all should love, new or old, are those that are making us all profit. Suppliers should focus on keeping the retailer reorder ratio up, and ensuring a good sample investment return. It’s more important for retailers to have the right dresses rather than the right number. It’s about honesty and good communication. Talk to your suppliers; they are not the enemy. Every action has a reaction, so if the action of a retailer is to cut back on buying, just to allow them to take another brand on, thus decreasing the supplier’s presence and increasing the competing brands. The reaction of the supplier will be understandable and maybe they will look to take on another shop to redress the balance. We all need to invest in the industry we know and love. I am the Vice Chair of the BBSA; we represent and support both retailers and suppliers, recognising that together we need to adapt to the landscape of our industry to make it better for all. Richard Lill Ladybird 07500 828 828 richard.lill@


his question has been asked many times without a conclusion and probably never will be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. We, as wholesalers, in an ideal world would like to have minimums that we can strictly adhere to and likewise get our retailers to do the same. However, it’s very rare indeed that ideal worlds align in any kind of business. At Allure, we offer what we believe is a very fair stockist policy, where the retailer is requested to buy six dresses from a single collection per annum. We decrease the minimums totals should they stock two or more labels from our portfolio of six. We place our trust in the retailer to honour the terms, but this is very difficult to strictly enforce, because they may buy four in spring and then, because of difficult trading conditions, are unable to purchase the following season.

We as wholesalers, in an ideal world, would like to have minimums that we can strictly adhere to and get our retailers to do the same Exclusivity and area are another factor that has a bearing on the minimums. Each and every company will a different policy in relation to this. Region and population may also be a factor in my mind. Should a store in a modest seaside town such as, say, Weston-super-Mare, be asked to buy the same quantity of stock compared to a store in huge metropolis areas such as London, Manchester or Bristol in order to stock a label?

There are two sides to the coin, of course. Retailers should try and minimise the number of labels they carry, but that too can be difficult, as we know. New labels are always emerging and offering better terms and exclusivity. Some suppliers will not allow a stockist repeat if they have not placed a stock order for some six to nine months, and that shop might have ten to 20 sample dresses from that company on their rails. We are in a static market, but more manufacturers are coming into the market place and more new stores are emerging, whether it be from a group or individual. We have to remind ourselves that the bridal market is not like the fashion market where a woman will buy a product multiple times; but the consumer expects a bridal store to have an enormous choice of different styles and price points. Should there be minimums? Given the above, respect from both sides in relation to area and historic performance should come into play. Billy Fitzsimons Allure 01707 643633

What do you think your suppliers could do to help you more? Drop me an email –

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M ATE RI A L M ATT ERS It’s all about the fabric. That’s what so many designers say gives them the inspiration for a new collection, and what so many retailers claim makes that sale. Michael’s Bridal Fabrics leads the way, so they gave us a trends insight…


ichael Bristow, who had been selling fabrics for almost all of his working life, set up his bridalspecific business in 1996 recognising the potential in the sector. Working from home, and with his sister-inlaw Kim and later on his wife, Lynn, Michael started off with polyesterbased plains and self-coloured fabrics. Buying from a variety of large UK importers meant he could offer the biggest possible colour range of satins, shantungs, crepes and more, plus the unique selling point of a cutlength service with no minimum order, a key benefit that is still part of the company’s remit today. And believe us, that’s something that bridal retailers really appreciate.

He has just got back from Paris and a series of meetings, one with a French lace supplier with whom he is hoping to develop a two-coloured lace to match his silk-blend Mikado, which is a different colour on each side. If it happens, it will give the option of using two different colours of the same piece of plain fabric to match the two colours in the lace. Sounds complex, but challenging, and the results will be extraordinary.

Worldwide suppliers Some things have changed, however. One thing that’s different today is that Michael buys from all over the world, seeking out the best suppliers in China, Taiwan, India, Japan, France, Italy, South Korea, the Netherlands and Spain. Some he finds at the twiceyearly big Paris shows, Tex World and Premier Vision, while others actually come to him, in the hope he will take their lines on.

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PURPLE REIGN Michael has been able to acquire cloths used in royal weddings for the ultimate in on-trend requests

Exciting and experimental Another development Michael is looking at is producing a range of French laces that can to dyed to match any of his plains fabrics. The plan is that from here his customers can order with a minimum of just one metre. He hopes to have these new developments ready to show at the Textile Form exhibition and London Bridal Week in March. Also new is a French lace edging with feathers, and a nude two-way stretch plain fabric. While Michael’s client list includes some big designer names, the largest market for him by numbers is made up of the British bridal shops that offer a made-to-measure service, and customisation options. He also

the next day, which also earns appreciation and reputation. Royal trends So what about current trends hitting the market at the moment? “3D is very popular right now,” he tells us. “Designs with laser cut panels, some of which are digitally printed, can make virtually any dress unique. We are also seeing a trend for trellis and lattice work, not just for edgings, but also as an all-over fabric. Soft shell pink and dusky rose shades

Brexit prices Do those special numbers cost a fortune, then? “If we’re looking at just fabrics,” he says, “then the prices vary from just a few pounds per metre up to £450 for exclusive French beaded or crystalled lace. But if we include all products, then the starting price could be a few pennies.” Could Brexit impact on prices? “It’s only speculation,” Michael says, “but if import tariffs are applied to EU imports then all French and Italian (lace and silk) products will increase

sells to fabric shops, theatres and entertainment companies including Cirque De Soleil in Canada. Operation size But what makes his operation stand out in the bridal marketplace is the sheer size of his product range – it’s probably the largest selection available. Apart from fabrics, there is a range of nearly 500 edgings and motifs, over 1,000 dress accessories (ranging from buckles, clasps, brooches and buttons) and other basics a maker will need, like horse hair braid, button hole looping, boning, bra forms and shoulder pads. The fact that most items are held in stock is an added (and very important) bonus. In fact, 90% of all UK orders taken by 2.30pm will be delivered

range of soft colours.” Weddings that make the headlines influence the demand for certain gown styles and certain fabrics. Michael has laces that they ran following the last British Royal wedding and one that was the choice for the Swedish Royal wedding a few years ago. With two big events coming up this year, he aims to be able to offer something very similar to the fabric chosen – if not the actual article itself.

are in demand, too. For mother of the brides, we have some very nice jacquards that co-ordinate with a silk-blend, two-side colour Mikado, coloured embroideries with beads and or sequins, and plain polyester crepes and wool crepes in a good A CUT ABOVE One of Michael’s clients are the famous Cirque De Soleil company

in price. Deliveries could be delayed a few days since goods will all need to clear customs – and that will incur additional costs.” However, when you can buy cloth with royal connections, or a perfect trim that will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, those extra pennies won’t make a big difference at all... Michael’s Bridal Fabrics 01322 380480

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DREAM DRESS Use our handy tool to search through 1000’s of dresses online for all the bridal party, then click to find your nearest stockist!



Q&A MR PR ONOVIAS Trend-setting Hervé Moreau, artistic director of Pronovias, creates some of bridal’s most outstanding looks. We caught up with him for a quick Q&A At the start of each new collection, what is the process for you? Where do you start? Is it with the fabrics, the embellishments, the silhouettes, or a particular inspiration? It starts with getting our ideas Thank you for joining us for a Q&A, Hervé. When did you down on paper. It’s a case of join the Pronovias team? And where were you before? focusing on each dress, one by I joined Pronovias in 2013, which was five years ago now, one, and ensuring the details and it was like a dream come true. I had always wanted are clearly defined so that our to work here. Before joining Pronovias I was with Matsuo stylists and pattern makers will Fashion House, a high-fashion firm in Japan, and I was instinctively head of the bridal and cocktail understand collections during my time there. We ensure the details are exactly what As a designer, was bridal always clearly defined so our stylists we want to achieve, your passion, or did you come to and pattern makers will and also it over time? with which I can remember since I was a understand exactly what materials child that I had a special interest we want to achieve we want to in bridal fashion. I drew sketches work. The of dresses all the time, especially next step is to bring the dream wedding dresses. They fascinated me! I then went on to life by making the patterns to study fashion design in Cannes, France, and since graduating from there 15 years ago, I have been immersed – that’s where it all begins to take shape. After initial trials in haute couture and bridal ever since. 74 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

As I always say, the most important thing for a bride is to be herself on her wedding day. What is your very favourite fabric to work with? I love lace, in particular. Lace has always been the DNA fabric of Pronovias; the way we use it and treat it is unique to us. It’s different for every dress, which makes it even more special. What are you most looking forward to this season? We want to keep dreaming and keep the same philosophy of ‘every bride is unique’. We are still working on the new collection and deeply focused on creating pioneering designs and fresh inspirations. The new looks from Atelier Pronovias 2019 will be crafted down to the last little detail to address the dreams of each and every bride. Every gown

I love lace. It’s always been the DNA fabric of Pronovias. It’s different for every dress, which makes it even more special, in my opinion in this wonderful handmade haute couture collection has the imprint of my soul in it. And, because the collection offers the bride the opportunity to customise her choice to make it her own, it will always be part of her soul, too. I am looking forward to showing the world our new collection. It is less than a month now until Hervé’s latest Pronovias collection is unveiled in Barcelona. Also, have you seen the Pronovias plus-size collection? And its separates range? Both are definitely worth investigating. Tel: 0845 0987047 Email: Website: with paper, a test garment is created on a mannequin so the design team can discuss the result and make decisions. Twitter: @pronovias Once the toile is finished and the results are what we wanted to achieve, then it’s time for our production team to start: things such as cutting the fabric and working on the agreed details. Pronovias is known for its celebrity following, and the stars it uses as its models. Of all the personalities you work with, who is your very favourite and why? I do not have a favourite. I love what I do, and I loved working with each of them. I change my mind every year in the search of an inspiring character for each collection! Any advice on styles for different figure types? I believe that no matter a bride’s figure type, she should always follow her inner instincts and choose a dress that makes her feel special and shine. Every bride can be a Pronovias bride – we have many different styles, so it’s always possible for a woman to find what she is looking for. A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 75

Second opinion Helen Lord Of Lulu Brown’s spent 14 years working in retail management and has learned many lessons when it comes to employing staff. Here she shares her tips... Get your paperwork in order Employing staff comes with paperwork – and lots of it! As overwhelming as it can be, it’s probably the most important thing you need to get right. Once you’ve got one staff member and all their paperwork in place it becomes easier, because then you can duplicate documents and procedures. Everything you will need is available to find online. Each staff member needs their own confidential file with their contract, terms and conditions of

employment; and any documents relating to sickness, maternity leave and disciplinary procedures should be kept in here, too. I know that this might sound very formal (it did to me at first!), but having your paperwork in the right place and format not only protects your staff – it also protects your business, and you. Be clear on job roles Before you enter the interviewing

LULU BROWNS Helen’s bridal boutique opened 12 years ago in Clitheroe, Lancashire

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process, be crystal clear on what the job you are recruiting for actually entails. Spending time on a job description now will save you headaches and confusion further down the line, because your new staff member will know exactly what you are expecting of them. Don’t assume all your candidates will be wonderful in every area – we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Avoid hiring someone who is exactly like you, because you may discover that you clash further down the line! Appraise your team regularly Even if you are a team that consists of only two or three members, you owe your staff the chance to sit down with you, one-on-one, ideally every six months, or annually. These sessions give you the chance to deliver feedback on their performance as well as giving you the chance to listen to how they feel they are developing within your store or company. It can be a difficult process, but if you approach it with professionalism and use it as a chance to grow and progress each of your team members, it’s also hugely rewarding.

Never avoid a difficult conversation Believe me, I’ve done it a lot over the years and it always ends in disaster. Any issues need to be dealt with straight away at your earliest convenience and, importantly, in private. Communication is key. You’ll find that once you start to address issues promptly they become easier to handle and that they will also occur less frequently.

Remember, they see your business from a different perspective than yours and as a result you, too, might just pick up on something that you haven’t thought about before.

and yours. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking you need to get a degree in HR! But find someone who has and who you can trust.

Avoid employing friends I know the temptation is strong, but take it from me – it rarely ends well. You’ve got to be the boss. The one that makes unpopular decisions for the sake of keeping the business profitable. Doing that with colleagues Invest in training is hard enough; try doing to do it with Team training is great for building friends is impossible! confidence and, most vital of all, That’s not to say that I don’t have loyalty. You don’t have to spend lots of great personal relationships within my Spend time writing a solid team. I have the utmost respect for them as individuals, but we’re all clear job description to save on what our roles are within Lulu’s.

confusion later on

money. Just getting your whole team together for an hour or two to gather some ideas is great for staff morale. Listen to what they have to say and take it on board.

You’ve got to be the boss, the one that makes the unpopular decisions Nobody’s perfect – not even you! Finally, it’s okay to stand up in front of your team, hold your hands and admit you’ve dropped a ball. Mistakes will be made, but as a team, you’ll learn from them and become stronger than ever. Visit for all the information you’ll need on employing staff.

Wedding Trader is YOUR monthly news magazine and in every issue we’ll be running opinion pieces from Find an expert It’s always worth having an HR advisor our audience of retailers. Got a strong on the end of the phone. Employment viewpoint? Fancy having a rave? Or a rant? Drop us an email at Law can be very tricky and you have and you an obligation to your staff to know your stuff when it comes to their rights could be next in line to be heard.

THE DREAM TEAM Helen’s team have the magical touch: they’ve won awards for their quality customer service

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BOWENDRYDEN.CO.UK 0208 211 3006

STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD With online businesses becoming an increasing threat to independent boutiques, effective promotion of your business has never been more important. Jo Kent from Something Blue PR shares her top tips for creating brand buzz Tell your brand’s story Think of your brand as a persona with its own individual identity and use this insight to create a genuine, interesting story. Storytelling can help to transform your brand identity, build trust from consumers and industry peers, and allow your target market to emotionally connect with who you are. Share your story on how the business was set up, insights into the people behind your business, what sets you apart and any learnings you have made over the years. If possible, encourage your customers to share their experiences with your business, too – this will act as vital market research, enabling you to see what you are doing right – or wrong.

brand story directly to the respective editor. Keep it short, sweet and as objective as possible and avoid hounding the editor – typically, if they like the angle, they’ll jump on it. Create valuable content The more inspirational content you

can create, the more brand exposure you can achieve. Press, potential customers and Google all love great content and there are many ways to share it from blogging, vlogging and podcasts to submitting trends and expert advice. This will not only help to position your brand as an authoritative figure but will also drive free traffic. Always stay informed with current affairs and industry trends when generating new material – content that is fresh, relevant and contributes to the conversation has a much greater chance of achieving widespread exposure and engagement from your target audience. Build a social media strategy The last decade has seen social media become an integral communication channel for businesses, both for communicating with consumers and industry peers. Used properly,

THE GRAPEVINE Ignore the power of word of mouth at your peril. It can be an extremely powerful ally

PR pitching Getting your business featured in the press is free marketing and highly valued; consequently, editorial is in high demand and space is becoming increasingly hard to secure. The press are bombarded with pitches on a daily basis – so to stand out in the crowd you need to think creatively and use a personal approach. Ensure you have done your prep ahead of pitching to seek relevant opportunities where your brand could fit, selling in your A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ 81

social media can be used to build widespread brand awareness and a solid online reputation. Every social media platform is unique in its own right and requires its own engagement strategy – choose the platforms that are most relevant to your business and map out a strategy for the year that supports your other communication channels. Ensure your content is relevant, timely and personal and keep it flexible to allow for changes as and when big news breaks – such as a Royal engagement – as well as allowing yourself time for responding to comments to give yourself a ‘human’ presence. Foster relationships with key influencers Getting influencers to notice and engage with your brand is a challenging process, but when done correctly it can reap huge rewards. The key to success lies in building strong relationships, to encourage an influencer to believe in your brand, and respect you as a business. Avoid cold influencer outreach and instead only approach those with a strong relevance to your business – those who are recently engaged for

A credible trophy is worth a huge amount of kudos, but consumers will see through a phony one, so be careful example. When building your brand campaign, it’s important to allow the influencer a good degree of creative freedom to maximise engagement and to offer fair compensation, which should be determined by their following size and the work involved. Advertising Advertising is often considered one of the most important tools of promotion, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Paying for placement gives you greater control over the design, timing and location of your message compared with public relations; however, the fact that it’s paid for can often result in it being perceived as being less ‘authentic’ than other promotional tools. When used hand-in-hand alongside alternative marketing channels to communicate your brand values and USP, advertising can be highly SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY Taking a bit of time to respond and engage with your followers makes your account sound less robotic

effective in building a brand image and generating guaranteed exposure that you audience will see. Awards Awards can a great way to get your brand the recognition that it deserves, but be wary of falling into the trap of thinking any award will do. Look for awards that are voted by the public, or the industry, and not decided purely on how much you pay to enter or advertise in an affiliated magazine. A credible trophy is worth a huge amount of kudos, but consumers will see through a phony one, so be wary. Word of Mouth The greatest promotional tool of all time is word of mouth and the survival of any new or growing company depends largely on its reputation. An excellent business reputation doesn’t just develop overnight. It is hardearned over a long length of time and it can very easily be lost. Maintain excellent relationships with everybody who comes into contact with your business – not just your customers – and your glowing reputation will set you on the path to great success. Are you in need of some pro PR? Contact Jo Kent, Creative Director, Something Blue PR 01483 385400

Something Blue PR is a creative communications agency that specialises in the wedding and events sector. Its list of clients includes: • The Wedding Gallery • The Wedding Shop • Charlie Brear • Motee Maids • Ricky Paul Flowers • Hugo Burnand Photography • The Enchanting Cake Company • La Fete

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Clothes to treasure for your memorable day 020 7821 9499

Flutter sleeves Flutter sleeves have been popular on the mainstream bridal catwalks recently, and this trend translates perfectly to maternity styles, particularly in floaty fabrics such as tulle and chiffon. Flutter sleeves are an ideal way to offer less restrictive coverage on the upper arms, but without swamping more petite brides.


Belts Many brides no longer want to hide their bump, but instead want to make it a feature of their look! Designers are finding that brides are choosing to customise their looks with tieon ribbon, beaded or coloured belts to highlight their bump, so this season we’re expecting more maternity styles to feature belts as part of the gown.


BR I DA L T RE NDS Here’s our guide to the most up-to-date trends for the maternity market...

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ne area of the bridal market that’s come forward in leaps and bounds in recent years is maternity. With more and more couples choosing to tie the knot later in life, pregnant brides are a demographic that can’t (and shouldn’t!) be ignored by designers and boutiques alike. “The market has changed a lot,” says Sandra Müller, CEO of Sweet Belly Couture. “Even ten years ago, it was common for pregnant women to get married in wide empire wedding dresses that would be ordered in large sizes. Now, wedding dresses for pregnant women must not be stuck in the corner somewhere, and must be presented centrally. A pregnant woman does not want to feel like a second-class bride.”


Short More and more pregnant brides are looking to show off their legs in order to balance out the baby bump, which means that bridal designers are increasingly including kneelength or cocktaillength styles in their maternity collections. This also works perfectly for brides choosing to have a more casual day, or a destination wedding, which means short gowns are a versatile offering for a maternity section. SERAPHINE




Lace Traditionally, lace was considered to be too complicated to work with for maternity gowns, due to difficulties with alterations and its tendency to highlight rather than obscure baby bumps. However, thanks to developments in fabrics, and many modern brides preferring to show off rather than hide their bumps, lace is now a much more popular option for maternity gowns. We’re also seeing lots of chic eyelash lace making an appearance as a trim on sleeves and necklines. So pretty!

Vintage Pregnant brides are just are trend-conscious as any other bride – why shouldn’t they be? Therefore it comes as no surprise that designers are including more vintage-inspired designs in their maternity collections as these gain popularity in the wider bridal market. Whether it’s ’60s-style shifts (which plays nicely into the trend for shorter gowns), ’50s-inspired silhouettes or delicate laces, there’s lots to work with here.

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Grecian Light and loose materials have long been classic mainstays when it comes to maternity gowns, but this season we’re seeing that designers are combining unstructured silhouettes with Grecian-inspired styling for a more up-to-date take on a traditional maternity look. Think pleated silks and chiffons, one-shoulder or plunge necklines, and gold detailing and embroidery. Hopefully this will help you suggest some styles to any pregnant brides that visit you!



Bridesmaids It’s no longer just the bride that designers are focussing on, with us witnessing more bridesmaid collections now featuring dedicated maternity styles. Gone are the days when pregnant bridesmaids were forced into over-large empire line styles – now we’re seeing specifically cut styles that are just as fashion-forward as mainstream bridesmaid dresses. Multiway gowns in flowing jersey or stretch fabrics can also be a great option for boutiques who don’t have the space to stock maternity-specific designs.

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I N T R O D U C I N G O U R 201 8 CO L L E C T I O N

Each pair of our shoes are handmade using the finest fabrics and materials, from our exclusive dyeable satins to our super sparkly fine shimmer - we spend time ensuring that our shoes are comfortable, leaving you free to enjoy your special day. All our shoes can be couture colour matched so if you would like to co-ordinate your shoes to a dress, a hat or a bag we’ll create the match.





PROTECTING DATA: THE NEW RULES Talk of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) is worrying many retailers who are unsure about what they can and can’t do with customer information. We asked Suzanne Lurie of Affinity Resolutions what it’s all about The following is the concern of a bridal retailer, and it may well be one that rings true with fellow boutique owners across the country: “I have two bridal shops, three full-time members of staff, and several that work part-time hours. We have lists of customers and potential customers – brides who haven’t yet said yes to the dress, but could well do so, their family members including mums, as

well as students looking for their prom dress. We gather those names and details – including a bride’s budget – when customers come in, either on appointment or casually to look at what we offer. I send out emails and newsletters (by email) or the basis that I need them to think of my shop first! What are the implications of the data protection legalities? Will they change the way things have worked so well for me in the past?” NUMBER CRUNCHING First of all: Is all of the data you’re capturing relevant to your business in the first place?

What is GDPR? General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018. There is a lot of publicity about it well as a sense of panic about the changes. My first piece of advice is do not panic. If you are already data protection compliant, then it is not that great of a leap because you will already have the foundations in place. Under GDPR, all processing must comply with six general principles and must satisfy a lawful purpose, which I will explain later. These principles and lawful purpose are similar to existing requirements – albeit with a few significant changes. Controller and Processor In very general terms, the new regulations provide for greater transparency and gives the individual more rights over what happens to their personal information. For example, the individual has to be told what data is being retained and why, and how long the data will be kept. A major change is that there will be more accountability for those taking and recording data and bigger penalties for any breaches. GDPR retains the definitions of Data Controller - the person who decides the purpose for taking the data and how the data will be processed and Data Processor – the person who acts on the instructions of the controller. From the information that the boutique owner provided in their initial question, I would say that they were both the Data Controller and the Data Processor. Analyse your customer list The first step for you is to look at your customer list and decide if everyone on that list is a current or potential customer, or if your list can be pruned. This will ensure that your customer list is accurate. Once you have done that, then have a look at exactly what information you hold about each customer and how you take that information. Do you have a form you ask the customer to complete? Is the information necessary for your

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business? For example, a customer’s budget is a vital part of what you need to know, but who they’re getting in to do the catering at their wedding is not relevant to you. It is also important to make sure the information is correct and up to date, because this is a requirement under the new regulations. You should also consider whether you pass on the details of your customers to other wedding-related companies such as florists. If you do, this is quite in order – provided, that is, that your customer is aware at the outset that you will be doing so. Privacy notices This leads me on to the next most important task which is to review your privacy notices. A privacy notice is the legal document that tells your customers what you intend to do with their personal information. Under GDPR, a privacy notice has to be more detailed and explain in clear

The first step is to look at your customer list and decide if everyone on that list is a current customer, or if it should be pruned terms such matters as for how long you are going to hold the information, the rights the individual has over their data and your lawful reason for taking that data. Ask yourself how you communicate the privacy notice to your customers. All-important consent Previously, consent was the most common lawful reason for a data controller to process personal information. From May, consent is going to be much more difficult to demonstrate and there will be six conditions to choose from. I’d need a lot more of the Wedding Trader pages to discuss these in more detail, but I would suggest in your case it is legitimate interest. Every Data

ALL ON BOARD It’s vital that you train all of your staff members to be up to speed with these new regulations

Controller must demonstrate that at least one condition has been met. Security measures It is also important to review what security measures you have in place to protect the data from being lost or stolen. Is your computer password protected? Who has access to it? Do you ever work from home and take customer’s details with you on a memory stick? It is important to ask yourself these questions and consider what precautions you need to take. Minimum age From the question raised by the boutique owner, I have assumed that their core business is bridalwear, although they do refer to prom dresses. If you have personal data on children (someone under 16 years of age), then remember that more stringent rules apply to all aspects of their personal information.

Under GDPR, a privacy notice has to be more detailed, explaining how long you are going to hold the information

The question also mentioned sending out emails and newsletters electronically. There are further regulations that are currently in

Remember that more stringent rules apply if you have personal data on children (someone aged under 16) force called Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which govern marketing by these methods. It is important to ensure that you are complying with these regulations now. Inform your staff It may seem that there is a lot to do, so make sure that all your staff are aware of the new regulations. This will not only share the load, but ensure that they understand the importance of being compliant. Suzanne’s business is assisting businesses and organisations to become GDPR compliant. If you need any further help, please give her a call on 07377 710875 or email

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MOST VIEWED… BRIDAL DRESS KATERINA BY BLUE BY ENZOANI It’s not difficult to see why brides-to-be are showing a lot of love to this scalloped sweetheart neckline. Such delicate lace!

Digital snapshot



WHAT ARE BRI DES SHOPPING FOR O N LI N E ? The stats don’t lie – we show you what styles your customers are searching for right now MOST READ… BLOG FEATURE WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MERMAID, TRUMPET AND FIT AND FLARE GOWNS? Are you explaining the difference to your customers when describing dresses?

MOST SEARCHEDFOR… DRESS SHAPE FISHTAIL UK brides seem to be keen to show off their marvellous curves, if this viewing trend is anything to go by.

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WHAT IS FIND YOUR DREAM DRESS? Brides-to-be can use this super-helpful website which allows them to filter various categories in order to find their dream dress in among FYDD’s database. Then, the site tells the brides where the nearest boutique is to them that stocks their dress of choice. If you’re a designer and you’d like to see your collection of gowns featured here, or if you’re a boutique owner that would love to have your business included in the search results, then visit to find out more. Alternatively, drop Laura an email at

MOST SEARCHEDFOR… DESIGNER CHRISTINA WU With decadent beading and luxurious fabrics, Christina Wu have topped the charts of being the most-viewed designer on the website this month. We’re not surprised!

MOST VIEWED… MOTHER OF THE BRIDES DRESS STYLE 991077 BY RONALD JOYCE Striking illusion sleeves… Right now, mums are certainly looking for a blend of sophistication and the wow-factor.

MOST VIEWED… PLUS-SIZE DRESS ROSEVILLE BY CALLISTA Curvy bride-to-be specialists Callista earned the most attention, with this gorgeous floral print ballgown in particular.

MOST VIEWED… BRIDESMAID DRESS STYLE 22752 CHRISTINA WU An asymetrical neckline, a sheath sillhouette and sparkly sequins – three reasons right there as to why this number from Christina Wu takes the top spot this month!

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amandaw yat t .com

London Bridal Week | Stand D21


TRADE EVEN TS Find the best dresses across the globe at one of these exceptional trade shows

24th-26th March 2018

6th-9th April 2018

21st-23rd April 2018




25th-27th March 2018

15th-17th April 2018

5th-8th May 2018



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May issue

• Answers from those in the know, offering valuable advice to your tricky dilemmas • Nothing held back! Honest opinions, at their rawest, from respected retailers • Reach out and touch your clientele – key marketing hints to boost your profile • Party-goers can do it with style! We look at the latest in occasionwear

Trader Exclusive Spanish label, Sara R, is DOM Bridals’ newest and very gorgeous occasionwear label. Look out for brilliant prints and vibrant colour combinations, soft pastels, chiffon and lace giving chic cuts

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Classified From job vacancies to new closures or relocations, you’ll get the lowdown on opportunities and announcements here

NEW TEAM MEMBER While not strictly wedding-related headlines, we did hear the happy news that Edith & Winston Bridalwear have welcomed baby Lennox LordLyon to the family!

J O B VACANC I ES RICHARD DESIGNS – WEDDING VEIL APPRENTICE Have you just finished school or college? Are you interested in textiles/sewing and don’t know what options are available for you now? Richard Designs are looking for an apprentice to join their organisation. This would be a great opportunity to gain some valuable working experience, using your sewing skills to produce beautiful wedding veils, while being given the opportunity to work towards a formally recognised qualification with their external training provider. You will start with simple patterns and be shown how to correctly sew onto combs and decorate the veils with different components. After building up your knowledge with practice, you will then be able to progress onto other areas within the department. Alongside this on the job training, the NVQ training takes place at our offices during your work time, so you don’t even have to worry about taking time out to attend college one day a week. If the right candidate can succeed with their training and show themselves to be an honest and reliable member of the team, they could be offered full-time permanent employment. The successful candidate must have a keen interest in the bridal industry and a textiles qualification from school or college,

as well as the ability to read design patterns and follow instructions. If you match this description and are able to get to their office on the Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely, each day, then please submit your CV and a covering letter to

STOC K IST S E A R C H CATHERINE PARRY Catherine Parry are looking for more retailers around the UK to stock their stunning designs. Contact George Efstratiou on 07834 606229 or Customer Service on 01443 222600.

S PECIAL O CCAS ION S 3 R D B I R T H DAY We heard from Romantic Dreams Bridal Boutique in Birmingham that they celebrated their third anniversary as a store at the end of February. Congratulations from all of us here at Wedding Trader to Sammy and the rest of the team! 4T H B I R T H DAY The Bridal House in Torrisholme, Morcambe, chinked glasses to toast their 4th anniversary in February. Congratulations to everyone involved! S TO R E R E LO C AT I O N Perfection Bridal have moved to a glamorous new premises in Cardiff’s High Street Arcade, just around the corner from their previous location. Their new address will be 3-5 High Street Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BB, and their contact number will remain the same – 02920 396315. Well done on the successful move – we loved seeing your Instagram photos!

LOVE OUR WEDDING The UK’s favourite free monthly consumer magazine, Love Our Wedding, is looking for more boutiques across the UK to stock their magazines free of charge. These handbag-sized magazines are the perfect gift to brides that come in store or for goody bags at special events. To become a stockist now, email We’ll send it in the same delivery as your copy of Wedding Trader!

WH AT A B OU T M E ? Do you have news of your own that you want to share with the rest of the bridal world? Just celebrated an anniversary of your store opening? Have you closed a store, or perhaps moved to a bigger, shiny new premises? Maybe you’ve won a snazzy award and you can’t stop smiling? This is the place to be heard! Send us your news by emailing

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“Even if you are a team that consists of only two or three members, you owe your staff the chance to sit down with you, one-on-one, ideally every six months, or annually. These sessions give you the chance listen to how they feel they are developing within your store or company. Remember, they see your business from a different perspective from you.”

“The bridal market is becoming trickier to navigate by the day, so having an up-to-date source of information is more important than ever. So for me to have Wedding Trader arrive in the post each month is a real boost in the arm.”

“It’s very exciting for me and my team – and plenty of others across the UK, no doubt! – to see more industry advice out there, especially from experts that we all respect, who know what they’re talking about. Bravo, Wedding Trader!”

“I’m looking forward to seeing more from Wedding Trader, and the fact that it’s free to Love Our Wedding subscribers is another bonus. We can’t wait for the next issue to come out!”

“It is very nice, of course, to be asked any question about our industry, and given an open floor to discuss some of the issues that we’re all faced with today.”

“We loved the piece you ran about our lovely designers, Simon and Maria of Catherine Parry. Both of them were so helpful when I set up my bridal boutique, and continue to be so to this day!”

...and finally Got a view? Share it with us. We’re here, every day, every week, every month, to help make your working life better

“Selling gowns online does not take a great deal of skill. You are the expert at selling faceto-face. Never forget this. It could be what will save you.”

“Loving the new magazine. So pleased to have someone addressing the things that really matter to us as small business owners.”

“My team and I enjoyed reading the first ‘full’ issue of Wedding Trader. It brought some interesting conversations to the surface. The only problem is that next month we might squabble over which one of us gets to read it first!” 98 ♦ W E D D I N G T R A D E R ♦ A P R I L 2 0 1 8

“It was great to be featured in Wedding Trader magazine last issue, talking about knowing what your brand can offer. I love nothing better than helping today’s brides find their ideal vintage-inspired wedding dress – and of course, that can’t happen without the hard work of all the bridal boutiques out there.”

DO US A FAVOUR, LIFESAVER DO US US A A FAVOUR, FAVOUR, DO DO US A FAVOUR, LIFESAVER LIFESAVER LIFESAVER Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer – and by choosing from the charity’s new range of wedding favours, youNolan can help lifesaving Anthony savessupport the livestheir of people with work. blood cancer Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer – and by choosing from the charity’s new range of wedding – and by choosing from the charity’s new range of wedding favours,Nolan you can helpthe support their lifesaving Anthony saves lives of people with work. blood cancer favours, you can help their lifesaving work. – and by choosing fromsupport the charity’s new range of wedding favours, you can help support their lifesaving work.


“Following my leukaemia diagnosis, I was unsure “Following my leukaemia diagnosis, I was unsure I’d live to see my wedding day. Without Anthony “Following mymy leukaemia I was unsure I’d live to see weddingdiagnosis, day. Without Anthony Nolan mymy stem cell donor I wouldn’t be here I’d liveand to see wedding day.IWithout Nolan and my stem cell donor wouldn’tAnthony be here today. They’ve given me an opportunity to live.” Nolan my stem cell I wouldn’tto be here today. and They’ve medonor andiagnosis, opportunity “Following my given leukaemia I was live.” unsure today. They’ve given me an opportunity to live.” Ruth and her husband, Peter, I’d live to see my wedding day. Without Anthony Ruth and her husband, Peter, celebrated their long-awaitedwedding weddingininMay May 2017. celebrated their long-awaited 2017. Ruth and her husband, Peter, Nolan and my stem cell donor I wouldn’t be here celebrated their long-awaited wedding in May 2017. today. They’ve given me an opportunity to live.” Ruth and her husband, Peter, celebrated their long-awaited wedding in May 2017.

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Wedding Trader - issue 3  
Wedding Trader - issue 3