The Los Angeles designer, whose namesake store is located in Venice, began offering a small selection of gowns for brides and bridesmaids about a year ago and is now taking that offering online in hopes of making it available to more customers.
“In store, it’s been pretty phenomenal,” Ashwell said of how the bridal business has been since its launch. “I think we really do fill a void in the bridal market and so it’s been doing really well. That inspired us to streamline our process a little bit and make it as user-friendly and accessible as possible.”
Before the Lily Ashwell Bespoke Wedding collection launched online the dresses were available to order only in Ashwell’s store. The collection, in the past, could be ordered in 23 different shades and required a four-dress minimum. The color palette’s now been distilled down to a group of 10 colors — ranging from neutrals and pastels to richer, jewel tones — hand-mixed by Ashwell and orders now have no minimum.
Prices range from $385 to $550, with dresses made in Los Angeles and turned around within six to eight weeks. The dress styles — five in total — include a bias-cut slipdress, wrap and cap-sleeve style with English lace detailing.
The collection, because of its interchangeability between bride and bridesmaid or versatility for nearly any special event, could become a large driver of the business, Ashwell said.
“I really have noticed a demand and a void in the market for the kind of aesthetic that we offer and the quality and the craftsmanship because we’re using 100 percent silk, we’re making it locally in L.A. and it’s at an accessible price point,” Ashwell said. “So I believe in staying focused…but so far its been so well-received in store that I’m hoping the sky’s the limit, really, and that we can grow it to be at least an equal part of the business.”
Up next for the brand could be kids, with plenty of customers asking about it, but Ashwell said that category’s only in the early stages of consideration.
“My company and my designs are personal [for] me so it’s kind of funny but I think these [categories, bridal and kids] are all, for my age — I’m going to be 30 this spring — it’s the natural stages of my life that I can relate to,” Ashwell said. “A lot of my friends have been getting married and that’s probably not too far away for me either. [It’s the] combination of responding to the demand of the customer and then how I’m also able to relate to those things.”