Ten years ago today, Rebecca Hessel Cohen was married in her parents’ backyard, surrounded by bridesmaids wearing her own designs. Inspired by the experience, Cohen founded LoveShackFancy in 2013, the feminine, bohemian brand that has gained a cult-like following over the years. Fast-forward to today, the founder is expanding into bridal.
Not only has Cohen aspired to officially expand into the category through the years, but the demand from customers was also there. “What are the perfect vintage bridal dresses…?” customers would ask; meanwhile, LoveShackFancy collection designs became popular for backyard and beach ceremonies. Case in point, the brand’s spring 2020 white, floor-length cotton lace Norma dress, which completely sold out.
To evolve her main-line designs into a robust bridal array, Cohen focused on an intricate Victorian lace from the late 1800s and gave it new life in a capsule of four styles, which she calls her “true, true bridal.” For instance, a long gown with cap sleeves or a short ruffled long-sleeve dress. The collection’s other five styles are “a little more for the fashion bride,” she described of of an eyelet organza pink gown with big puff-sleeves and a bunny-sack style with high Edwardian collar — that would look as stunning down the aisle as on the city streets, paired with Doc Martens. The beauty of LoveShackFancy bridal is its versatility and ease. Not only does the collection retail for less than $2,000 (styles range from $485 to $1,995) but they are available to purchase, and take home, instantly.
“A lot of these dresses you can wear for your rehearsal dinner or change into [for the reception] or wear for your bridal shower. Really being able to offer everyone something — whether it’s for a shower, or rehearsal dinner — and because everything is under $2,000, you can have different dresses to wear throughout,” Cohen explained. “These are dresses that don’t come in six months, you just buy them. You can literally try it on, buy it, and have it that day. You can have it altered or changed how you want to, but it’s not meant to be a six-month to one-year lead time, especially since you can’t plan anything these days. We have a lot of brides who say, ‘We were waiting for another year, but who knows what will happen in a year, so now we just want to do it but my wedding dress won’t be ready…’ So it is kind of a perfect time for this,” she added.
While the brand planned to launch earlier this summer both at their Melrose Place store (now set to open on July 15) and on Matchesfashion.com (new launch date to be determined), the pandemic pushed timelines. But new timing with Cohen’s 10-year anniversary worked out. The collection is launching today on the brand’s e-commerce, as well as in-store at their reopened brick-and-mortar locations including Sag Harbor and Bleecker Street in New York. While, in the future, all of the LoveShackFancy stores will carry the bridal designs (Cohen currently plans for two collections in the category per year), the Melrose Place store will include a bridal salon, complete with options for alterations, customization, trunk shows and a selection of one-of-a-kind vintage gowns, handpicked and sourced globally by Cohen, to sit alongside the LoveShackFancy designs.
“It feels like everything’s coming full circle,” the designer quipped.