NEW YORK — Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide after the practice sparked an Internet controversy in China.
Wang’s local partner had instituted a fee of 3,000 yuan, or $482 at current exchange, to try on wedding gowns at her new Shanghai bridal flagship. The fee included afternoon tea and a meeting with a consultant, along with a 90-minute fitting session. According to a Shanghai store staff member, this is usually enough time for a customer to try on eight to 10 gowns.
The decision to implement the fee generated a flood of comments on Sina Weibo, as many as 2,000 earlier this week. The comments came even though some other bridal salons in China charge similar fees.
“Upon careful investigation and review of the policies of our international operators, we will be abolishing appointment fees in all of our stores,” Vera Wang said Tuesday. “We wish for all Vera Wang customers to enjoy the same standard of excellence worldwide. Treating our customers in a fair and equitable way remains a priority. The store in Shanghai has only been open to private VIP preview appointments. The official opening to the public will take place on April 29.”
The Shanghai flagship, which had a soft opening earlier this year, takes up two floors of prime real estate in the upmarket Xintiandi development and has about 80 dresses on display, priced between 30,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan, or $4,827 to $48,270.
Lovisa Tedesteadt, owner of Lova Weddings in Shanghai, said, “I am in shock. I don’t know of a single boutique in China that has this fee. I visited the Vera Wang boutique in Xintiandi weeks ago....We were allowed to look at the 25 or 30 dresses displayed on the first floor, but the sales assistant confirmed customers have to pay a 3,000 renminbi [$482.95] fee to try on the dresses upstairs.”
Jenny Ji, a Shanghai-based designer with a high-end bridal line, said that while she generally makes made-to-order wedding gowns, she has sample dresses in her studio customers are welcome to try on for free.
Newly-married resident Jing Yuan, 27, was surprised to hear about the pay-to-try policy for Shanghai customers, calling it “irrational. Of course this is too much, normally to buy a quality wedding dress from a good brand in Shanghai is 3,000 [yuan]. I have never heard of another designer brand doing this,” Yuan said.
A staff member at Vera Wang’s Shanghai store justified the fee before it was abolished. “A lot of high school and college students were coming here and weren’t serious about buying a wedding dress so that’s why we started the fitting fee,” the staffer said. “We just wanted to make sure we were serving the right customers, and the [fee] is then redeemable off the purchase price of any gown.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)