The significant and unforeseen impact of the coronavirus on the world shuddered millions. Priority and thriving businesses have had to close due to home assignments, social distancing, and quarantine recommendations. Meanwhile, thousands of brides were preparing to marry their significant other at dreamy spring weddings. Now, during the wedding season and during a pandemic, many brides have the deafening question of when their wedding will take place. Similarly, wedding designer productions have declined significantly, and many are now offering virtual services. Here, three Denver wedding designers share how they would like to overcome this pandemic and keep creating beautiful wedding dresses.
303 Magazine: As a contributor Are you worried that Denver Fashion Week, UK Vogue and most recently Paris Fashion Week attendees, this pandemic will bring business to the fashion and wedding industry to a standstill?
Allison Nicole Designs: I’m afraid this pandemic will bring the fashion and wedding industries to a standstill, but I think people will still be ordering online. In addition, almost every bride cancels or postpones her wedding.
303: How have the orders and quarantines in the recent pandemic affected your design and production as a seamstress and artist?
AND: It didn’t affect my design, but it did affect production because we’re not currently in the studio. We work separately on things that we can work on in home studios.
303: Much of your designs are geared towards the wedding industry. What are you offering brides in terms of services during this period?
AND: We continue to offer remote services. If a customer wants an individual dress, we let them measure their measurements and send them to us. Then we send him the sample so that he can try it on and Skype us.
303: Do brides still send you inspiration and design ideas for their dresses? If so, which design aesthetics do you see a lot of?
AND: Yes, brides still send us inspiration and design ideas, but only a few. I see a lot of simple designs with not a lot of detail.
303: How can brides keep their spirits up in this unprecedented time?
AND: Brides can keep their spirits up by knowing they can have their wedding at some point. Although brides postpone their wedding ceremony, some are still getting married in the courthouse. The top priority must be the health and safety of everyone during this time. Spend time with your family and help the elders and the vulnerable.
303 Magazine: Can you tell us about your business and your designs?
Marie – Margot Couture: I design bridal and formal dresses for women who want to express their individual sense of style and personality. I’m in Denver and I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary in October 2020. I love my brides! My designs can be considered classically elegant with fabrics and laces of the highest quality.
303: How Has This Pandemic Affected Your Business?
MMC: Of course this has had an impact on my income, but it has also given me time to catch my breath and look for ways to make my business more efficient, streamline some processes and create a new collection. I also take this time to make masks and gowns for the medical community.
303: As a celebrity clothing designer with the wedding season approaching, can you describe how you are feeling amid the coronavirus?
MMC: Like everyone else, my heart goes out to those affected and to society in general because we have gotten into a situation that none of us can ever imagine in real life. It tests us as a nation. These engaged couples are particularly affected by the emotions associated with insecurity. Planning a wedding is stressful at the best of times with all the details to be considered, but postponing everything indefinitely is a real problem! Due to the uncertainty and the canceled / postponed events, this is also stressful for the providers involved. Most of us are small businesses whose livelihoods depend on seasonal business. These cancellations therefore have a much stronger impact on our lives than if the big box stores have a cancellation. Hope when this is over people will support their local small business to get life back to normal.
303: Although brick and mortar stores have largely closed due to the virus, many Denver creatives are offering virtual services. Do you also offer virtual services?
MMC: Yes, the magic of technology is a real plus as I have been able to connect with some of my clients to design and measure their projects. I can get a head start. When the city opens up again, I’ll be one step ahead.
303: What is your advice to brides who are anxious and frustrated about the current global crisis?
MMC: I would tell them this is going to happen too and keep in mind that this is just a postponement, not a cancellation. Those who love them will still be there to share in the happiness of the day. As difficult as it is to wait, it will be well worth it and there may be some unexpected surprises that make it even better than it would have been. Having trust and cherishing their loved ones for every day we have with them.
303 Magazine: As an original Denver fashion designer, how has the current pandemic crisis affected your business – especially during the wedding season?
Rachel Marie Hurst: There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now and it’s scary. I never thought that I would see anything like this in my life. For the fashion industry in particular, we have already had problems as fast fashion was such a great force that many small businesses are unable to make a living or compete and as such we are more creative in our approach to that Business and what we are can do for our customers. I have a lot of problems with the new pandemic – fear for humanity, worried about the people on top who are also helping to fight this, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I am worried about my business . But the best chance we have is to work as a team so that we can overcome this and get our lives back. Weddings are being postponed and / or canceled and brides are not currently looking for dresses because they have bigger things to do. Since my studio is closed for the time being, I cannot meet with customers and custom orders and wedding dresses depend on the equipment, which is worrying for the next season. I really hope people stay home so we can get through this.
303: Does this situation give your brand with limited resources a new approach to creation and design?
RMH: For now, I’ll be experimenting with taking older fabrics and freshening them up. I have the ability to dye fabrics and can try to make some of my own textiles. I’ve never been a trendy designer and only get what I like. Fortunately, my brand doesn’t live on trends. But my brand doesn’t like gimmicks either, so this will definitely drive me creatively and artistically, which is frankly exciting. Sometimes when you get lost in the habit you feel like you may lose your artistic eye because you are combining visions for an outcome.
303: With many businesses closing, was it a challenge to get fabric for your designs?
RMH: Right now, yes! This is another limitation of custom orders. I don’t buy in bulk because most of my customers want unique items and therefore unique fabrics that are sourced every time. Custom is taking so much longer and now that Colorado Fabrics is not only closing, fabric shops are also closing, putting a lot of business on hold. I have a small inventory of fabric but not for a lot of my clients so it was quite stressful.
303: Your pieces are extremely distinctive, unique and beautifully feminine. What do you think is the most common search for design aesthetic that brides are looking for?
RMH: All brides want the same thing, essentially they want to feel and look beautiful on their special day. Because the ideal of beauty is so different, every bride has a unique twist here. Many of our customers come to us because they cannot find the perfect wedding dress or special event piece. Either it isn’t offered in their size, it doesn’t have everything they hoped for, or they are not traditional and have a unique taste that is not offered to them. Either way, they see the value of an amazing piece designed for them. Many of our brides want modern and feminine pieces that are elegant yet flirty. They always dare to be wild and are 50/50 on our voluminous tulle dresses or our sexy slip / mermaid dresses.