ATLANTA — Priscilla of Boston has named Melissa Sweet as design director of the Priscilla of Boston bridal collection. She will also direct her own line, the Melissa Sweet bridal collection.
Federated Department Stores Co. Inc. acquired Priscilla of Boston and Melissa Sweet last August when it bought May Department Store Co., which purchased the Sweet label and its Atlanta retail store in 2004. Sweet launched her namesake line and store in 1996.
The Priscilla of Boston line, founded 60 years ago by Priscilla Kidder, who died in 2003, outfitted celebrity brides from Grace Kelly to Tricia Nixon. Designer Elizabeth Tobin retired last summer.
Sweet said she wants to bring newness and fashion to the classic brand, emphasizing construction, fabric and detail. “This is not your mother’s Priscilla of Boston,” she said. Sweet’s bridal line is fashion-forward, with vintage-inspired silhouettes such as tea-length, full-skirted strapless gowns and touches of color.
Sweet’s spring 2006 collection also includes 10-piece bridesmaids’ collections within each line. The Priscilla of Boston umbrella also contains a separate bridesmaids line, Currie-Bonner and US Angels, a flower girl dress line.
Priscilla of Boston has 10 stores in major markets. Sweet will consolidate her store with the Priscilla of Boston unit on Atlanta’s Peachtree Road.
Priscilla of Boston and Melissa Sweet both retail from around $4,000 to $6,000, and both are sold to 50 accounts, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and specialty bridal stores. Total company sales for 2006 are projected between $10 million and $12 million.
Federated said it planned to sell off the bridal division in 2006.