Close
 

The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

  • Design
  • August 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

In the last couple of years, Kiwi fashion designers like Ingrid Starnes, Juliette Hogan and Paris Georgia have rolled out bridal ranges. Now they’ve been joined by Karen Walker. We asked Walker what’s behind the rise of designer bridal.

Walker launched her 20-piece Atelier range last week. The pieces will each be bespoke, “made specifically for and in consultation with the client by private appointment”, although simpler styles like the $500 Ceremony dress are available online for immediate express shipping now. 

All appointments, viewings and fittings will take place in the Karen Walker Atelier suite above the Ponsonby Road boutique and all styles will be made in the Karen Walker workroom in Grey Lynn. The private appointment will also include a dialogue with Walker herself.

Prices range from $500 to $4,250 for the full-skirted taffeta True Love gown. There are 12 dresses, a tuxedo paired with various options, a cape and three veils. 

The range has been paired with Walker’s bridal jewellery line, which has had 14 new designs added to it in honour of the Atelier range.

The range is based on the Karen Walker archive, and references many existing pieces as well as adding new touches. Most of the Atelier fabrics have been created by Spanish couture fabric house Gratacós.

Walker says her own marriage of 28 years and her love of “a tradition that makes people pin their colours to the mast and take on true commitment,” was at the heart of Atelier.

“Love, love, love a good wedding!” Karen enthuses. “They’re so uplifting aren’t they? There’s a real joy in two people having that clarity of vision to define themselves in the moment and walk that aisle and into life together.” 

Walker’s range is part of a larger global trend. As the US$2.4 billion American bridal market shrinks due to changing consumer behaviour – Millennials aren’t getting married at the same rate as their parents, and they want more inclusive sizing, more customisation and lower prices when they do – Vogue Businesssays new retail models are popping up.

 Traditional bridal retailers like the now-bankrupt David’s Bridal are losing market share to high-end ready-to-wear designers, venture-backed direct-to-consumer brands such as Anomalie and Floravere, and bridal ranges from fast fashion retailers like Topshop, H&M and ASOS. 

Walker shared more detail about how Atelier relates to these trends with The Register.

Several New Zealand retailers have launched bridal ranges in the last year or so. Why do you think bridal is suddenly such an attractive category to Kiwi designers?

I think that more and more people want to buy bridal from their favourite designers rather than from bridal specialists who they perhaps don’t relate to.

Operationally speaking, how does creating a bridal range differ from creating occasionwear and casual apparel?

Well, it’s completely bespoke so different in every way.

What business processes had to change at Karen Walker to accommodate those differences?

We’ve been working in a bespoke, personalised way for many of our high-profile, international customers for some time and this is just about making this approach more available.

Have you discovered any business or design insights from bridal that will feed back into other categories covered by Karen Walker?

No, but it’s early days.

Can you hint at which category Karen Walker might tackle next? Is there any product category you’d never touch?

Lots of new projects and wish projects on the cards. Stand by for more when the time’s right.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

  • Design
  • January 23, 2020
  • Findlay Buchanan
Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

In New Zealand, we discard 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year, an absurd amount for a small, agrarian, country at the bottom of the earth. Partly, the problem lies in our recycling systems – only a meager 28 percent of it is recycled. But, new radical solutions are being developed, we’ve already transformed water bottles into asphalt, plastic bags into clothes, and roofing into pavements. Plus, a company in the states, Joachim’s firm, plans to build a 53-story tower made with the waste, a vision for tall buildings and skyscrapers that could be made of plastic.

Read more
 
 

2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

  • News
  • January 22, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

In the final installation of our series looking at retail in seven New Zealand regions, we're examining Dargaville.

Read more
 
 

Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • The Register team
Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

Ecommerce retailer Container Door has fallen afoul of the Commerce Commission after supplying pedal bicycles which did not meet mandatory product safety standards.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
2020 vision
What does the next decade have in store ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

As part of a series looking at seven regional centres to consider what regional retail looks like this year, we're considering Cambridge.

Read more
 
 

Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

  • Who's Where
  • January 21, 2020
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

Countdown has announced Steve Mills as the new general manager of merchandise.

Read more
 

Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

  • News
  • January 20, 2020
  • The Register team
Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

Retail NZ is launching a new Leading Retailers’ Group for large and significant retailers. With its first meeting to be held in late February, the group will provide a safe outlet for senior retailers to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}