The Warby Parker of Wedding Dresses Knows What Millennial Brides Want
Startups are reshaping the wedding industry, and digital, direct-to-consumer wedding dress shopping could be the next big Millennial wedding trend…
While the biggest wedding trends Millennials are seeing right now have established themselves as standbys (think DIY aesthetics, barn motifs, and hashtags), new wedding trends are transforming the traditional. And no, we’re not talking about avocado proposals. Instead, it should come as no surprise that tech-savvy young consumers expect the same level of time-saving digital innovation while planning their trip down the aisle that they get from other industries.
Ain’t nobody got time for outdated wedding companies, and 57% of 18-35-year-olds tell Ypulse that brands should cut out as many steps in the buying process as possible. Startups are attracting young shoppers by doing just that. Some are rethinking registries, like Honeypot and Zola, while others are introducing the direct-to-consumer model. There’s a Warby Parker for every industry today, and Floravere is the Warby of wedding dresses, betting that the days of marathon-long shopping trips until a bride says, “yes to the dress” are over.
Instead, Floravere lets brides-to-be try at home and buy low-cost dresses, and then send them back for alterations—taking a piece of the market that David’s Bridal and other mass retailers are losing share of, according to Glossy. The company delivers unique wedding dresses to the doorstep of soon-to-be brides about 10-15 weeks after purchase, a much faster turnaround time than bridal shops, which often make brides wait for six months. Racked reports that Floravere targets a “modern woman who’s very comfortable online and loves digital experiences. But this digital brand also understands the need for some IRL interaction, so they have showrooms and pop-ups for brides who want to try before they buy. And when it comes to the styles, Floravere is appealing to the modern bride with social media trends, low-price points, and inclusive sizing.
We reached out to Denise Jin, one of the co-founders of Floravere, to find out how Millennials are changing the way they shop for wedding dresses and shifting traditional trends altogether:
Ypulse: Why do you think the direct-to-consumer model is a good fit for finding a wedding dress?
Denise Jin: Every industry can benefit from innovative options that use technology and out-of-the-box thinking to provide an amazing product or experience at a great value. Bridal is certainly no exception and is an industry that has been especially slow to change because it’s so rooted in tradition and certain conceptions of brides that are no longer relevant to a lot of women today!
YP: We read that you offer sizes 2-24. Can you talk about the decision to have inclusive sizing?
DJ: Finding your wedding dress is a moment many women dream of, but the reality of that process can be less than magical for plus-size brides. Imagine being limited to a small number of dated styles among what’s in the store, being charged more for your dress if it’s above a certain size, and being forced to use your imagination while trying on because the samples are far too small.
Those were the horror stories we heard on repeat from brides ever since we launched a year ago. Hearing from and meeting women compelled us to make sure to offer a truly joyful way for women of ALL sizes to find their wedding dress.
YP: Why do you think that more affordable wedding dresses are trending right now?
DJ: We’re seeing a shift in how Millennial women shop in general—they are savvy, educated customers who don’t settle for the status quo. Increasingly, we’re seeing brides ask why there are so many zeros at the end of the price tags related to anything bridal and rejecting what we call the bride tax—that markup that seems to magically appear for anything wedding-related.
YP: Are there any Millennial wedding trends you’re seeing gain traction or any that you predict will get more popular?
DJ: In general, we’re seeing Millennial brides and couples break a lot of “rules.” For example, white bridesmaid’s dresses are increasingly popular—as well as non-white bridal gowns. We also increasingly see brides bring their fiancés to their dress appointments and involve them in that process. And in terms of the dress itself, minimal sleek gowns such as our plunge neck Mulligan gown are the new “it girl” statement.
YP: We’re seeing more digital-first companies open in-person storefronts and pop-ups. Can you talk about Floravere’s in-person experience and why you have it?
We want to offer an experience for our customer that meets them however they prefer to shop. We are expanding quickly, with plans to open additional showrooms and pop ups in more cities than ever!
Denise Jin, Co-founder, Floravere
Denise was drawn to Floravere for the opportunity to revolutionize an antiquated and often predatory industry after experiencing the embarrassment of trying on dresses at bridal boutiques where the sample sizes were far too small and the price tags far too big. After meeting Molly as colleagues in Bain & Company’s Private Equity group, Denise helped build a number of female-led companies, and is passionate about celebrating the multifaceted spirit of modern women.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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