French Connection to launch into trend-led bridalwear
The specialist bridal sector has come under more pressure this week with news that French Connection is the latest high street store to enter the affordable, less traditional end of the market.
The struggling retailer will debut in the sector with its spring/summer offer from February after the company said that its customers have increasingly been buying from its mainline collection for weddings. French Connection has been working to kick-start sales growth for some time and a move into this key growth area makes good commercial sense.
UK spending on weddings has continued to rise fast but some brides are increasingly turning away from the most traditional (and very expensive) dresses. This has created huge opportunity for the high street players where most women spend their fashion budgets.
The French Connection news follows a number of launches into bridal so far this year with Whistles, Lipsy, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins all having unveiled specialist lines recently.
French Connection’s design director Maria Chen told Vogue exclusively: “Shoppers are able to buy affordable pieces in every other category except bridal, so it felt like a natural progression to launch a wedding capsule. With the growing trend of wedding dresses that don’t blow the budget, as well as bride’s wearing multiple outfits on the day, the idea was welcomed by our inner circle of brides-to-be.”
The new offer will include piece priced form £65 up to £295 with the company citing celebrity brides Poppy Delevingne and Kate Moss as its inspiration for beaded dresses. It also channelled Bianca Jagger for tailored separates inspired by the dress and jacket combo Jagger wore for her wedding to pop star Mick.
The collection includes a boho dress with statement sleeves and one with a beaded bodice and flowing skirt, a sheer dress with delicate coloured flowers, as well as separates such as a white shirt and lace trousers or culottes.
The company is also planning to update the line regularly with trend-focused seasonal looks.
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