New York’s April 2020 Bridal Market is aiming to go digital. A statement released by The Bridal Council to its members and bridal community on March 12 explained, “In light of the ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, The Bridal Council & Council of Fashion Designers of America have been in touch with our designers, retailers and media members. Based on their collective input, it has been decided that April bridal market will be held ‘digitally.'”
“We had a town hall meeting with all of the designers, retailers and media members about two weeks prior,” Lou Iacovelli, founder and president of Atelier Creative Services Inc. and an adviser to communications for The Bridal Council, expressed over the phone. “Everyone collectively voted on a form of market week — whatever that may be — because as you know with handmade dresses, they still take the time that they take to make for deliveries.” Iacovelli explained that “at the time of the meeting, most of the Italian mills were not closed, so the houses and members were in good shape with the materials they needed to make the dresses in order to proceed with a new type of market week.”
In lieu of a physical bridal market, originally slated for April 16 to April 20, the Bridal Council is asking designers to present their collections via Zoom and Join.me technologies. Each digital sharing platform, which allows an audience up to 500, offers the designer the ability to present a format of their choice — whether it be to stream a pre-produced video and digital look book or to live-stream with the designer and the garments, etc.
The Bridal Council will also be uploading collection images, featuring the fronts and backs of dresses as well as sales contact information, onto the council web site’s, “Gown Gallery,” for retailers and the media. Electronic line sheets, pricing and order forms are also offered for designers to provide to their accounts.
On March 13, the CFDA announced a statement on their web site urging designers “to cancel and reformat live shows and presentations scheduled next month to show their newest collections digitally, or in a similar format,” while offering a centralized portal of digital look book collection releases for retail and media.
In addition to the “digital” market week update, The Bridal Council mentioned that The Knot’s Couture show would not be moving forward.
In other bridal news, David’s Bridal announced Wednesday its decision to temporarily close all 300 stores for appointments and walk-ins through April 1. Store employees will be paid during this time.
The retailer will offer curbside pick-up for previously placed orders with the help of a reduced workforce. The company will continue with e-commerce and online customer support via its virtual concierge “Zoey.”