First and foremost, not ALL of this niche market is doomed for failure. As long as ladies are saying ‘I do,’ there will be a demand for wedding gowns. Carefully curated boutiques and socially present brands will remain a float, but big box brands are slowly but surely closing their doors. First it was Priscilla of Boston, and the most recent being Alfred Angelo. The price points and dress quality could not have been any more diverse, however, their business model remained the same: many corporate managed retail sites in various locations of the US following the same staging and showroom format. How this generic plan lasted for as long as it did, is beyond crazy. Think about it–what does every bride strive for..??? Individualist beauty on her one big day. Her personal runway in front of the most important people in her life, the moment that she is hoping to be her most breathtaking, a site for everybody to remember……now how does that translate to wearing the same (or extremely similar), white dress as thousands of other brides, styled in the same exact way, and still hoping to stand out?? Or how about the purchasing process-since when does a pushy sales staff, contested show room floors and opinionated spectators equal out to a lovely, memorable moment? Thanks to shows like SYTTD, brides have been given a false perception of how their appointment should go, and a certain amount of permission to barter with salon employees. It is a television show, ladies. Speaking of the rising interest in bridal shopping, social media has opened a whole other mess of issues in the system. Some big brands have mastered the art of position photography and creating a cult following. This is both a positive and negative. Positive in the fact that smaller indie brands have been given an big nod and the brides that understand their vision can seek out boutiques that represent the desired line. Negative in the way of bandwagon brides. There are girls that will eat up any sparkly bull shit thrown their way. Professional store owners and buyers get bombarded with these fan girls demanding the latest and greatest from their bridal heroes, without understand the process of seasonal markets or the hefty price these over designed and ill fitted poly gowns will cost them. Bloggers don’t help matters much. NY Bridal market was once the most coveted and best kept secret between industry professionals. Now, bridal bloggers sit at their prospective homes and ‘borrow’ pictures from those actually in attendance. I specifically remember taking pictures at an invitation only NY editorial bridal runway show, only to find that bloggers from my own city were reposting and claiming as their own. This removes all creditibitly from both myself and the designers that spent time money and endless resources presenting their vision to their consumer audience. These issues are a bit off topic as to why Alfred Angelo shut down, but the overall picture of the bridal industry is a saturated and antiquated mess….and I intend to do something about it. Stay tuned…..