The Gold Coast company, which specializes in delicate designs using silks and French lace developed on leaver looms for that antique effect, caters to what it calls the unique bride and is synonymous with the beach, explained founder and creative director Megan Ziems.
The company scouted locations in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and New York before selecting its 1,350-square-foot store at 1510 Abbot Kinney Blvd., which bows Tuesday. The door, the company’s first internationally, will mirror its showroom in Australia, which takes inspiration from vintage and boho chic.
“We really wanted it to be very private,” Ziems said of the Venice showroom. “We didn’t want it to be a run-of-the-mill boutique.”
While the focus is getting the Los Angeles door up and running, the company is already eyeing at least two more locations, with a London door likely up next followed by New York.
The company, founded in 2010, is named after Ziems’s grandmother and designs and makes all of its gowns in Australia where it has a production and design studio at its headquarters.
“It’s my nona’s name, but it was very much named with our customer in mind,” Ziems said. “She’s definitely a woman of grace, very sophisticated, very authentic and noble but also very creative and unique.”
The company’s designs have been seen on Margot Robbie and Millie Mackintosh, earning a following as an “It-Girl” brand for trendy brides.
All product for the Venice store will still come from Australia, where everything will continue to be made at its headquarters and design studio. The company has a team of about 45 people there.
“We really like to keep the design and manufacturing in house,” Ziems said. “It means that we can keep our finger on the pulse at every step. At the moment, we’ve got no intention of moving manufacturing.”
Los Angeles-area brides will have the option of choosing from the company’s ready-to-wear, which can be ordered the same day as their visit, or made-to-order, which has a roughly three-month or longer turnaround. The boutique may eventually carry rtw on site, Ziems said, to allow brides to actually walk out with a gown the same day of their visit. Rtw starts at $790 and can go as high as $2,900.
Grace Loves Lace in late May launched what it called its Blanc collection, which infused more silks and crepes into the line in an offering that Ziems described as “a lot chicer and a little bit more modern.”
The company also has an online business, with the U.S. and Australia the top markets, followed by the U.K., Sweden and Germany. It’s the U.S. business that’s top of mind for Grace Loves Lace, with the company accounting for its product team to be able to accommodate at least double the market it’s currently serving, according to Ziems when asked about growth projections. Wholesale isn’t likely to play a part in the growth story, with Ziems not seeing a need for it at this point in the business.
“I think one of the key things to our business is that we are exclusive,” she said. “I think brides like to have something that you can’t get everywhere. It’s also very hard to control how the brand is represented when you wholesale.”