JUL/AUG 08 ISSUE 6
for the young ones
BUYING and accessories
experiences ON TREND
Hot looks for your
Our pick of the best
Make the most of this
Plus buoyant market
6 Industry News
Our regular round-up of the latest bridal
movers and shakers
28 Business Link
Upali Dayasena, Senior Research Adviser
at Business Link, answers your questions
on trade marking your business
53 Jane Watson Features
Regular columnist, Jane Watson, reveals all
about the life of an agent 20 Retailer Interview
We speak to Clare Louise of Brides &
12 Maids, Cambridge to ﬁnd out
59 Buying Time
Abigail Neill tells all about her recent about her successful bridal boutique
buying trip to Madrid, and talks tactics for
sourcing stock from the BBEH 23 Tiny Tots
Fabulous fashions for the young ones
60 Q&A Special
Our experts, Jane Watson and Beth Scott, 31 IJL Interview
answer all your retail queries We speak to show director, Chris Hartley
38 66 Up and Coming 33 Best of British
Angela Cole interviews Nuala Tivnan, We champion UK-based manufacturers
who opened her self-named bespoke bridal and designers
and occasion gown shop earlier this year
40 Bridal Fashion Trends
Discover four exciting looks for
Proﬁles your brides-to-be
12 Rainbow Club 50 Groom’s Accessories
Diane Kelsall talks to us about Make the most of these terriﬁc
her fabulous shoe range add-on sales
54 Bridal Lingerie
38 Crystabelle Jewellery
How to support this growing market
Sarah and Christine discuss their stunning
necklaces, earrings and bracelets
16 Couture Fashion Week
We showcase the hottest bridal fashions
from the runways of New York
Cover image courtesy of
Made in the UK
Industry News Page 6
GROUP EDITOR Tny Tots Page 23
Demelza Rayner Best of British Page 33
+44 (0)1376 535 609 Bridal Lingerie Page 54
In today’s difﬁcult economic climate it’s never
+44 (0)1376 535 609 been so important to support home-grown talent.
Britain boasts some of the world’s most gifted
Angela Cole bridal designers who, despite spiralling overheads,
SALES MANAGER stay true to their roots and continue to make their
+44 (0)1376 514 000 dresses in the UK. We speak Emma Tindley and
Nicola Harvey-Rowley at Nicola Anne, among
Vicky Longman others, to ﬁnd out more.
+44 (0)1376 535 616
email@example.com One of the most interesting sectors of the market
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS that is largely undervalued by bridal shops is lingerie. It’s an essential
purchase for any bride-to-be, yet too few bridal retailers are choosing to
stock it in store. Why? It takes up very little space, provides an excellent
+44 (0)1376 535 616 add-on purchase and may even make the difference between a bride-to-
PRODUCTION MANAGER be buying or not buying a dress.
+44 (0)1376 535 616 Crossing the Atlantic now, we take a look at the New York Couture
ADMINISTRATION Fashion Week, which showcased the work of eminent fashion designers
+44 (0)1376 514 000 based all around the world. We take a look at some jaw-dropping designs
Kline Davis Limited that graced the runways, including fabulous creations by Jean Fares and
Newlands Drive Haya al Houti.
Witham, Essex CM8 2UL
www.attirebridal.com Finally, we focus on some fabulous bridal fashions, including pleated
Staff photographs courtesy of
and folded fabric, pretty capped shoulder straps, striking necklines and
Ian Scott Photography brightly-coloured sashes.
Tel: 01707 263 844
Attire Bridal is solely owned, Enjoy reading
published and designed by Kline
Davis Limited. Whilst every effort
was made to ensure the information
in this magazine was correct at the
time of going to press, the publishers
cannot accept legal responsibility
for any errors or omissions, nor
can they accept responsibility of
the standing of advertisers nor by
the editorial contributions. The
views expressed do not necessarily
reﬂect those of the publisher. Attire Demelza Rayner
Bridal is published six times a year.
Subscription rates for overseas Group Editor
readers are £40 per annum (incl.
p+p), Cheques should be made out
to Kline Davis Limited and sent to
Attire Bridal @ Broseley House,
Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex
We take a look at what’s new in the bridal industry this summer
Expansion nearing completion CONSUMER MAGAZINES – A
for Benjamin Roberts NEW REVENUE STREAM?
After months of work, Benjamin Roberts will You may think you stock
shortly be unveiling their new showrooms. Back everything a bride-to-be needs:
in 2003, Benjamin Roberts were operating from the dress, the shoes, the veil, the
3,000 square feet in the city centre over two lingerie. But have you considered
levels with just two collections. After taking on a stocking consumer wedding
third collection in 2003, the ﬁrm moved into the magazines? If not, you could be
premises next door, enlarging available space to missing out on an extra revenue stream.
4,700 square feet, and now, with four collections,
County Wedding Magazines publish nine
Benjamin Roberts are moving to a 17,000 square
feet brand new unit. ”This latest move is to be able consumer wedding magazines, all for clearly
to improve the way in which we receive the goods, deﬁned areas, and will shortly be launching a
store them and send them out to our customers, title for London. “At present all our county wedding
so improving our customer service,” explains titles are sold through major supermarkets, high
Managing Director, Karen Taft. street newsagents and other independent outlets,”
One of the most exciting aspects of the new says Sales and Marketing Manager, Mark White. “However, we are now
developments is the new garment handling looking to expand our distribution into bridal outlets.” He continues: “When
system (which is often seen in large clothing located at the point of sale, magazines make a great impulse buy. After,
manufacturers and storage). The dresses will arrive
all, what’s a few pounds compared to the price of a wedding dress?” To
in a shipment, be opened and pressed, quality
controlled and then stored in a dry, humidity ﬁnd out how to stock the magazine, please telephone Jacquie at Diamond
controlled sealed area until a delivery note is raised Distribution on +44 (0)1797 225 229. To ﬁnd out more about county
for dispatch. wedding magazines, please visit www.countyweddingmagazines.com.
European expansion for Sasso
Sasso Bridal Accessories began back in
2004 with just four marabou garments
and a small collection of accessories. The
ﬁrm now has over 250 accounts and an
ever-expanding collection from Europe.
“Lapa gloves, for example, have over
30 years of experience in the bridal
marketplace, and have allowed us
to choose from their collection of
accessories just for our UK market,” says
DRESS TO IMPRESS Elaine Carter. The accessories include
A fabulous new charity event, with a bridal twist, gorgeous
is to be held this November to raise money for lace and
Pancreatic Cancer UK. Indeed, on 1st November organza pleated gloves, embroidered,
2008 (which is the beginning of pancreatic lace and ﬂowers with swarovski crystal
cancer awareness month) wedding & portrait trim. There are also Sex and the City
photographer Julia Boggio will throw a charity themed hats, vintage lace-effect skull
wedding-ball at the ﬁve-star ANdAZ Hotel, caps, supersized organza ﬂowers,
Liverpool Street, London - formerly the Great hair combs and lace headbands.
Eastern Hotel. “We have also introduced the Emmi
The idea behind THE BIG I DO REDO is to Mariage collection of dresses, which
encourage women back into their wedding dresses we are launching at Harrogate in
across the country to raise money for the charity. September,” she adds. All are available
For further details, visit the handy website at to view online at www.sassobride.com.
News & Events
PEARL INNOVATION FOR ETHICAL JEWELLERY BRAND
BoBijou designer pearl jewellery (Edinburgh) recently introduced its in-house developed exclusive knotting technology “Needless
Restringing” to guarantee the wearer 10 years without needing pearl restringing, offering supreme quality of ﬁnish.
As a distinctive brand, BoBijou’s USP is to offer a wide range of unique, refreshingly designed Couture style jewellery that
are hand made with purely precious and natural materials such as cultured pearls and gemstones with solid silver and gold, at
affordable prices. The brand prides itself on the superior design and outstanding quality of jewellery. With a wide collection of 300
designs developed in the Edinburgh head ofﬁce, every piece is hand made in association with their exclusive workshop in Spain.
It takes three years for their team to develop this sophisticated knotting technology. Compared to traditional knotting that takes
a skilled worker one hour to hand string and knot a 18” standard pearl necklace, this technology takes four hours. However, the
end quality is uncomparable, the thread is very strong and will not move or become elastic and loose, hence the shape will last
at least 10 years with no need to pay for restringing. Yet the traditionally knotted pearl necklace would need to be restrung every
BoBijou is an ethical jewellery brand. Their pearls come directly from the largest pearl farm that cultures pearls in the purest and
cleanest lakes, and the ﬁrm implements a strict environmental policy throughout. For further details visit www.bobijou.com.
EXPORT AWARD FOR CYBERTILL
EPoS and e-commerce technology
specialists, Cybertill, has won a regional
export award from UK Trade & Investment
Cybertill has secured the Merseyside
sub-regional Passport to Export Awards
2007 in recognition of its achievements in
the export market following participation
in the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
programme. The award was one of
ﬁve county awards given to companies
across the north-west that have shown
considerable progress in growing their
Passport to Export is UK Trade &
Investment’s ﬂagship programme for new
Etiquette Hire Ltd and inexperienced exporters. It provides
Over the next couple of months, Etiquette Hire Ltd will be doing a the training, planning and ongoing
nationwide launch of their made to measure suit service under the banner of support a company needs to begin a
Ascot Personal Tailoring. “We are very excited about this project and could successful export operation.
well see our retailers that we are oﬀering it through, massively increase their Since signing up to the Passport to
turnover with no extra ﬁnacial outlay,” they say. “Operated on our already Export programme, Cybertill has made
established touch screen ordering system, the personal tailoring will oﬀer signiﬁcant inroads into new export
customers the chance to own markets. It is now selling to more than
a suit to their exact sizes and 20 countries including Dubai, Belgium,
speciﬁcation retailing for as Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and the
little as £225.” Czech Republic, and has seen an
Etiquette were named increase in export turnover.
as a ﬁnalist in the Best
catorgory at the recent
Bridal Buyer Awards.
“Although we were pipped to
the title by Antony Formal
Wear we see this as a step
in the right direction and
appreciate the recognition of
Find out more about
Cybertill MD, Ian Tomlinson (centre) receiving his
Etiquette Hire Ltd by
award from Clive Drinkwater UKTI North West
visiting www.i-do.uk.com. Regional Director and TV Presenter Lucy Meacock
Hine Insurance Brokers Ltd have been established for 30 years and
for the last 20 have specialised in insurance products for the bridal
and wedding industry. Their Bridalsure and Formalsure policies are
designed to provide highly competitive and specialist shop insurance
for bridalwear and formalwear retailers.
Currently insuring approximately 500 bridal and formal wear shops
across the UK, Bridalsure and Formalsure are the only insurance
policies backed by the major bridal trade associations, Bridal Industry
Suppliers Association and the
British Bridalwear Association.
Find out more on www.hine.co.uk.
FRESH NEW PEARL DESIGNS
BY FENNIE LEUNG New British bridal designer launches to the trade
Since the launch in 2005, Divine Destiny has Talented British-
been producing quality handmade bridal jewellery based bridal designer,
and hair accessories, and has earned a reputable Emma Tindley,
place in the thriving bridal jewellery sector. will be launching
Designed and handmade by Hertfordshire- her collection at
based designer, Fennie Leung, her collections the British Bridal
have a fresh, contemporary look yet perpetuate Exhibition, Harrogate,
the integrity and sophistication of classic pearl this September. “After
jewellery designs. Apart from freshwater pearls, six years designing
Fennie also incorporates semi-precious stones dresses under my own
including rock crystal and moonstone, cleverly label from my shop in
accented with Swarovski crystals in order to East Grinstead, I feel
inject light and sparkle into the designs. It is a that now is the time
perfect compliment to details on bridal gowns to expand the business
which are often decorated with crystals. and look for a select
Thanks to the recent modern interpretations number of boutiques
in fashion jewellery, pearls have managed to across the country to
shake off its old fashioned image. Together with stock them,” she says.
advancements in cultured freshwater pearls “The feedback from
farming technology, the industry now offers my clients and the
a greater variety in shapes and colours then displays in the shop
ever before. Fennie took advantage of this window have been
and thoroughly demonstrated her creativity in so good I’m looking
collections such as Glow and Cherry Blossom. forward to hearing
In Glow, Fennie skillfully mixed different shapes what the trade think.”
together whilst in the Cherry Blossom collection, Emma has selected
lustrous teardrop pearls were teamed up with around 15 dresses,
peach and white pearls and iridescent crystals. some from her present
For details, visit www.yourdivinedestiny.co.uk. collection and some
new designs. “As I work very closely with my clients, I am able to keep
Natalie Gladman of maternity bridal label, up-to-date with what girls are asking for so the collection stays current
Madeleine Isaac-James, and her family have and fresh,” she asserts. Emma’s collection covers all shapes and styles,
been shortlisted in the Mother@Work Awards from slim ﬁshtail through to the full and dramatic corsetry of the 18th
2008 and will be attending the ﬁnal in the century. Lace also plays a big part with delicate crystal beading detail.
State Room at 11 Downing Street. This award “All my dresses are silk and many incorporate fabulous ﬁgure ﬂattering
recognises not only the contribution of working internal corsets,” adds Emma. “All the dresses are made on the premises
mothers to the economy, but also the support and I will continue to do this as it is really important to me that the
structure they have behind them that helps dresses are not only perfect once completed, but also the client receives
them achieve success in their chosen ﬁeld. a high level of customer service. The same will go for our new trade
Find out more about the awards at the website customers. To ﬁnd out more, visit www.emmatindley.co.uk.
News & Events
Retailers remain optimistic in the face of the
GIRLS LOVE PEARLS DEVELOP STRONG credit crunch
UK STOCKIST NETWORK SMEs operating in the retail sector are really feeling the bite of the
Ruth Morton of Girls Love Pearls is pleased to credit crunch, according to a recent study. Retail businesses admitted
announce 12 new stockists: “The enthusiasm that their suppliers are increasing their prices (73%), they aren’t
of leading bridal magazines has led to huge expanding as quickly as they would like (67%) and are actively looking to
interest in our ranges of bridal jewellery,” she reduce their own costs (50%).
says. “With over 20 stockists in the UK, it is now However despite this customer downturn, and tough trading
even easier for brides-to-be to choose Girls Love condition for retailers, many small and medium sized businesses
Pearls, browsing our website at leisure before (SMEs) appear to be reacting bullishly to the credit crunch. When asked
making their ﬁnal selections in-store, closer to if they had to start their business again in today’s economic climate, 61%
home.” New stockists include The Bridal Suite of SMEs would do it all again tomorrow, of which 45% of retailers said
in Lincolnshire, Bellissima Weddings in Essex, yes to the same question.
Alexanders Bridal Ltd in Dublin and Blossom in The research by The Credit Show, the UK’s largest exhibition and
Oxfordshire. Contact www.girls-love-pearls.co.uk conference dedicated to professionals associated with the consumer and
for further details. commercial credit arena, shows that SMEs on the whole plan to expand
sales in the UK on average 56% in the coming year.
The study is based on detailed online interviews with 117 small and
medium sized businesses. The businesses were drawn from across the
UK and from a mix of sectors.
To download a copy of The Credit Show’s ‘Credit Crunch and its
impacts on SMEs 2008’ report, visit www.creditshow.co.uk.
Molly Brown launches new collections in Selfridges
Aristoc have recently released two ranges and Harrods
of Bodytoners Briefs, specially designed Molly Brown London is pleased to announce the launch of two new
to ﬂatten and smooth the tummy whilst collections in Selfridges and Harrods this summer. Molly Brown London
enhancing the bottom. adds to its collection of beautifully made keepsake jewellery for little girls
These ranges have been clinically proven with the introduction of the new ‘Love Heart’ and ‘Dishy Fishy’ collections.
through Bodyscan technology to slim and Currently the best selling children’s accessories brand in Harrods, the new
smooth the silhouette and will be backed collections are sure to live up to all expectations with their gorgeous design
with a multi media marketing campaign, and beautiful details that little girls and stylish parents alike will love.
encompassing PR & advertising. Director, Erica Illingworth says: “We are delighted that Selfridges and
Bespoke display units and display material Harrods continue to show their commitment to the Molly Brown brand by
will be available to create impact in store. For launching our new Love Hearts and Dishy Fishy Collections within their
further details call +44 (0)115 924 6183. world renowned stores. For further details visit www.mollybrownlondon.com.
Shining new guide to
the best in retail display
The new sdea Directory of Shopﬁttings and
Display is full of creative and innovative
ideas to help you design retail interiors full of
theatre and sophistication.
Whether you are trying to source a single
retail display item or a complete shop ﬁt, this
well known guide is a great place to start. As
always, it is a visual delight, with full colour,
descriptive and illustrative images of the huge range of products and services
that sdea members manufacture and supply to the retail world. Backed up
with company proﬁles and full contact details, it is a fully comprehensive
buyers guide to shopﬁttings and display equipment, PoS, signage and visual
The publishers are giving away free copies of the sdea Directory to the ﬁrst
50 discerning readers that request a copy and mention this journal.
If you are a retailer, sdea will help you source a reputable supplier or an
elusive retail display product via the Directory, by calling the Infoline, the
Association’s telephone enquiry service, or online at www.shopdisplay.org.
If you are a supplier or manufacturer of shopﬁttings and display, sdea has an
excellent package of services on oﬀer. Call +44 (0)1883 348 911.
SFA Wholesale report steady sales
CONTINUES TO INNOVATE
As a long-established trade supplier SFA Wholesale have a range of stunning bridal
of fashion accessories and costume accessories. According to the company, the
jewellery, Jewellery World Ltd identiﬁed eight-row diamanté bangle has been a very good
the bridal accessory market some three seller since its launch at Harrogate in March.
years ago as a sector in which they SSFA have now revised the display presentation
could play a major part. box for this product, as shown here.
With a reputation for keeping their ears SFA has experienced good trading conditions
to the ground, the directors of Jewellery throughout the spring/early summer with retailers
World use their wealth of contacts here particularly liking the fact that SFA holds products
in the UK, and in the Far East, to bring in stock and can usually dispatch within 24hrs of
together a plethora of designers and placing an order. This, along with a philosophy
manufacturers. of supplying products at an affordable price
Three years on, Jewellery World is has enabled the company to continue a pattern
proud to boast arguably the best range of steady growth. SFA tries to make ordering as easy as possible with a
of bridal accessories for trade buyers in paper and online catalogue available, as well as attending the Harrogate
the UK. bridal shows in March and September.
Their dedicated buying department Retailers can contact SFA on +44 (0)845 017 5059 or visit the website at
enables Jewellery World to offer its www.sfawholesale.co.uk.
customers a vast collection of designer
bridal products at non-designer prices, NEW PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
including tiaras, bridal jewellery, hats and ELECTED AT AGM
fascinators. At its Annual General Meeting on 29th April 2008,
Jewellery World has recently the Shop and Display Equipment Association elected
introduced an exciting collection of Geoﬀ Fairﬁeld, Managing Director of Fairﬁeld
bridesmaids’ hair ornaments including Displays & Lighting Ltd as President and Nick
combs, pins and headbands with Wraith, Managing Director of United Aluminium
feathers and beads in a variety of Ltd as Vice President.
delicate pastel and monochrome Ronald Cohen, Managing Director of Foxbarn Ltd
colours. For more details telephone +44 becomes Immediate Past President.
(0)161 834 5007. For further details visit www.shopdisplay.org.
BRIDAL, BRIDESMAIDS & PROMS
0208 802 1399
To view our collections visit us at The Harrogate Bridal Fair, Hall Q Stand 7
Diane Kelsall, Design Director of both Rainbow Club and the
bespoke Hassall bridal shoe ranges, is ﬁrmly established as one of
the UK’s leading and most inspirational bridal shoe designers. She
never doubted her career path and we spoke to her about the sheer
determination behind her success
Inspect the footwear most commonly chosen by brides and their accompanying “I work closely with our technical team, who make sure that the ﬁt is great and
attendants and you will no doubt ﬁnd that at least one of them is delighting in everything works properly from a technical point of view.”
wearing a pair of shoes designed by Diane Kelsall. “When the collections are ﬁnally ready after months of sampling, we then start
Design Director for Rainbow Club, which incorporates the Else, Miss Rainbow, work on the marketing side of things. I love to attend the fashion shoots for our
Miss Else and Gabriella & Lucido bridal and occasion footwear ranges and photography, which we use for brochures, advertising and showcards.”
Hassall bespoke bridal shoe range, Diane is as one of the UK’s leading and most “I also enjoy the trade shows, where we ﬁnally present the collections to the
inspirational shoe designers. retailers and get feedback from them.”
Di and her team oversee all the ranges and she has had a huge inﬂuence in “My favourite part of the job though, is putting the initial sketches and sample
shaping the brands. In addition, the shoes in these collections are available for pieces together for the bespoke Hassall range. I can visualise the ﬁnal shoe and I
bespoke hand-dying by The Colour Studio, also owned by Rainbow. still ﬁnd it really exciting that brides will walk down the aisle in something I’ve
The Hassall bespoke bridal shoe collection, designed by Di, is very personal created!”
to her. So incredibly bespoke is the range, that customers can have the date of Diane launches new collections across the numerous ranges yearly, with
their wedding inscribed on the heel of the shoe, making them truly personalised occasional mid-season ranges, such as handbags.
and they are packaged in fabulous boxes with organza shoe bags and signed box She believes that her ranges suit all types of bridal retail store, with the Hassall
brochures, which makes a keepsake for each bride. collection being particularly suitable for boutique-type bridal shops, who sell
Inﬂuenced by Di’s love of all things vintage, the Hassall range is beautifully design-led dresses and products.
detailed, making full use of embroidery, lace, velvet, buckles and bows. Diane also feels that enthusiasm for the product and a broad range is key for
Di also oﬀers the ‘Fairy Godmum’ shoe service for all her customers. bridal stores keen to secure a sale.
“Fairy Godmum is there for brides who have any queries relating to shoes. It “Bridal stores need to try to have as broad a range as possible, because if there are
could be anything from what shoes to wear with a particular dress, how to ﬁnd only a few styles to try, brides will often go and look elsewhere. Our reps will give
a particular size (for example if they have very small or large feet), how to get great advice on the biggest selling styles and will always help the retailer to put a
shoes dyed… almost anything. We will always try to help and they will receive a good mix of styles together. It’s also best to have a mix of price points if possible to
comprehensive personal email in response to their query. Not surprisingly it’s quite suit the budget of all brides.”
popular. I like to answer all the Hassall queries personally.” “I always feel that if the staﬀ in the shop love the product they will sell it with
Diane’s decision to follow a career as a shoe designer was prompted by a very enthusiasm and luckily for us, most girls seem to love shoes!,” she laughs.
fortunate meeting with another master of shoe design, Jimmy Choo, in her ﬁnal She describes the current range for Else, as quite young, fresh and a little quirky.
year at college. “There are lots of contemporary styles with quite a strong high street feel. Cute
“I have always loved shoes, since I was a small child I have been fascinated by pumps and sassy T-bars are part of the new collection, which appeal to brides,
them, much more so than clothes”, Diane explains. bridesmaids, are great for proms and they look fantastic hand-coloured too.”
“At school, when everyone else was making cars and boats with their cereal “Rainbow, the biggest collection, has to have very wide appeal, so the styling is
boxes, I was making mine into shoes, Scholl sandals were a favourite! very feminine, romantic and directional. There are some gorgeous peep-toe shapes
“I took a degree in fashion and textile design, specialised in embroidered textiles for the 2009 collection, which we expect will prove very popular.”
and in my ﬁnal year I did a work placement with the shoe designer Emma Hope, “Couture is an entirely new collection and we’re really excited to be launching it.
who I really admire. Through her, I met Jimmy Choo, who made my ﬁnal degree It’s all about grown up glamour and consists of sophisticated styles with glamorous
collection for me, which was a range of embroidered silk shoes.” vintage styled trims and sublime satin overlays, which give each shoe a point of
“After that, I decided my career path just had to be shoes and, although it was diﬀerence,” explains Diane.
very diﬃcult to start with, as I didn’t have the technical expertise, I was determined “Finally, we have the Hassall range and I love to use lots of texture, from pretty
to design shoes and nothing was going to stop me!” lace to soft ethereal chiﬀons and organza. It’s a really romantic collection, full of
“I started my own label, Diane Hassall, in 1988 and I worked from a studio in vintage glamour for true shoe-aholics on their wedding day.”
Clerkenwell in London,” she explains. “For 2009, Hassall sees an introduction of very subtle sparkle and I have
Having now worked her way up to Design Director and with a whole host incorporated some amazing golden crystals and stunning Swarovski banding,
of shoe labels to her name, Diane is glad she followed her heart, as she says she which looks fabulous against soft, ethereal chiﬀon, look out for some ﬂamboyant
absolutely loves her job. bows too!”
“It’s quite a varied role, starting with reviewing the previous year’s collections, Diane is also responsible for naming the ranges and delights in the task.
what’s done well, what we need more of and so on, then putting together the four “I love naming the shoes and each collection has a theme of some sort. Else are
collections from initial sketches, to sourcing fabrics and trims and making sample all named after cocktails, such as Mai Tai, Rainbow are girls names, Couture are
pieces for the factory to work from.” exotic places such as Tahiti and Hassall are all named after roses… there are some
really great names like Dainty Bess and Rosie O’Donnell!”
Diane sources materials from all over, but is always on the look out for
something new and visits shows in Europe looking to source lace, trims, buttons
She carefully promotes the collections through editorial coverage and advertising
in bridal magazines and by visiting retailers as often as possible.
“We supply brochures and showcards to our retailers to help them promote the
product too and of course, we show at Harrogate twice a year. It’s great to see all of
our retailers there and get lots of reaction and feedback,” she says.
Diane advises that retailers should help a bride select a shoe style that will look
great with their dress but also suit their personality.
“It’s no good advising a bride who only ever wears ﬂat pumps to wear a 9cm heel
if she can’t walk in it,” she warns.
One aspect of her business that does particularly well is the Colour Studio,
through which retailers can oﬀer customers a bespoke hand-dying service.
“This is doing fantastically well,” reveals Diane. “The brides, and of course the
retailers, love the whole concept and it works brilliantly. I even have several pairs of
beautifully-coloured shoes myself! It’s taken oﬀ so well, that the staﬀ in the Studio
are inundated most of the time and the business is growing with amazing speed. It
We like to provide something different for the bride
takes the worry of dyeing away from the retailers and they know they can send us a
swatch and conﬁdently expect a beautifully-coloured shoe back.”
So how does Diane view the current bridal footwear market and what trends
does she see emerging over the coming months?
“The bridal footwear market has become more exciting and adventurous over the
past few years, thankfully! Gone are the days of plain satin court shoes, now the
choice is vast, with companies like Rainbow producing comprehensive collections
covering everything from gorgeous peep toes to strappy sandals and vintage, lace-
“There is a lot more variation in terms of shapes, such as round and almond toes,
which sit alongside the popular petite points. There is deﬁnitely a move towards
styles which crossover from bridal to fashion, styles like Scarlett from the Rainbow
collection are increasingly popular, as they are gorgeous wedding shoes but can
be dyed afterwards and worn again. Fashion is increasingly important, although
comfort is also a major factor now too.”
Reviewing her success in the business, Diane credits one particular commission
as the greatest achievement she has had so far.
“Launching the Hassall brand and getting such a great reaction three years ago
is deﬁnitely up there, but if I’m honest, I think my greatest achievement was being Accessories sourced from different parts of europe to compliment our Sasso
feather garments ~ Shrugs, stoles, wraps and jackets in both marabou and
asked to make a pair of handmade shoes for an exhibition at the Victoria and
ostrich ~ New colours for autumn, rich steel grey, subtle stone colours and
Albert Museum in London. The shoes are part of their collection now.” shades of mint and moss green ~ New Vintage jewellery designed for Sasso
Rightly proud of her designs, Diane even wore them for her own wedding. by Russian Beriozka, all hand made to order ~ Lapa gloves and accessories ~
“They were ivory duchesse satin, with a sassy crossover ankle strap and a crystal Joltex, our new hair and jewellery supplier ~ Stockists required for our new
beaded panel around the throat. We got married at the end of December on a cold Emmi Mariage dress collection, showing at the show in September.
and crisp day, so I wanted my shoes to sparkle in the frosty light!” A
Tel: 0808 1789 103 ~ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To ﬁnd out more about Rainbow Club and the Hassall collection, telephone
+44 (0)8445 872 775, or visit www.hassall.co.uk www.sassobride.com
An exciting new collection by
Jonathan James Couture, the 2009
“DEVA” collection, is now available
for instore preview.
With a range of over 120 colours
in 5 different fabrics, this stunning
collection of 50 gowns allows stockists
the ﬂexibility not only to choose the
gowns fabric but also to alter gowns to
their customers speciﬁcations.
Along side the adult bridesmaid gowns,
we also offer matching ﬂower girl
dresses, Junior and maternity sizing
and a menswear range, so that you
may offer your brides a complete
package in matching fabrics.
UK Sales Executive:
Mr Robert Wilson
07783 476 408
ICON our stunning 2009 collection now
available for instore preview.
Please contact us to make an appointment.
UK Sales Executive: Mr Robert Wilson
07783 476 408
We bring you some
from Couture Fashion
Week, New York
Couture Fashion Week is a multi-day event
showcasing luxury couture and ﬁne fashion including
eveningwear, elegant fashion, couture bridal as well
as accessories. Attendees include upscale consumers,
invited VIPs, the press and selected high-end store
buyers. The event also includes exhibits of luxury
brands as well as entertainment and networking
cocktail and after-parties, and is held in a number of
top venues in New York City, Palm Beach and other
In addition to its ongoing oﬀering of unique
branding opportunities for luxury products and
services, Couture Fashion Week works in conjunction
with lifestyle industry leaders around the world in
oﬀering attendance at the fashion shows as part of
lavish travel and shopping experiences for those with
exquisite tastes. For further details visit the website
Read on for our showcase of ﬁve fabulous fashion
One of Romania’s most important designers, Catalin
Botezatu has been named “Designer of the Year” six
years in a row by VIP Magazine (Romania), and has
twice been presented with the “Award for Excellency
in Fashion” by Fashion TV Romania, in addition to
numerous other fashion awards.
His fashion accomplishments have been featured in
prominent publications and media.
A proliﬁc and energetic fashion icon, Mr. Botezatu
has done fashion shows all over the world, and
recently showed his designs as part of the Ford
Agency’s Supermodel of the Year competition in Las
Vegas. Between 1999 and 2000 the designer staged
fashion shoots and shows at the Amir Palace in Tunis
as well as in Luxor and Cairo, Egypt. In 2002, he did
a calendar shoot and three fashion shows in Kusadasi,
Turkey. In 2002 he presented his collections at Milan
Fashion Week following the Versace fashion show.
In 2004, he presented a highly creative collection the “Maserati Collection” inspired by the famous
inspired by Japan’s Samurai warriors at Jimmi’z in luxury automobile brand.
Monte Carlo followed by shows at Bali Fashion Week Mr. Botezatu is one of the few major fashion
in Indonesia and in Malta. Most recently he has done designers who directs and styles his own shows and
fashion shows in Tunisia as part of that country’s makes all his accessories (jewellery, shoes, hats). His
independence day celebrations; at the Cannes distinguished clientele includes politicians, socialites,
International TV Festival; at fashion weeks in Jakarta, VIPs, entertainers and celebrities. But his beautiful
Bali, Iceland, Athens, Bucharest and Jamaica; at the creations have a strong appeal for any woman looking
ModaLiveMediteraneo fashion festival in Italy; and to bring out her femme fatale side through sensual,
at the Romanian embassy in Paris. In 2007 he created reﬁned and sophisticated fashions.
Couture Fashion Week
Haya Al Houti
In a much anticipated follow up to her stunning 2007
USA debut fashion show, accomplished Kuwaiti
fashion designer Haya Al Houti presented her latest
collection of sublime couture creations.
A prominent designer in her native country, Ms.
Al Houti established her fashion house in 2002 and
has since become recognised for her exquisite bridal
and evening gowns. Her clientele includes an array
of Saudi Arabian and Qatarian princesses as well as
prestigious dignitaries, socialites and VIPs throughout
the Middle East. Her creations are breathtaking
combinations of the ﬁnest satins, silks, taﬀeta, chiﬀon,
organza, tulle and lace with rich beading and jeweled
Along with her staﬀ of more than 25 talented and
skilled employees, Ms. Al Houti prides herself on
creating not just beautiful fashions, but also “Art from
the Heart” - designs that transcend fabric and thread
and touch the wearer’s inner spirit.
In a recent interview with Kuwait Times, Haya Al
Houti spoke about how working on fashion shows is a
unique and special experience. “When thinking about
a fashion show I don’t just present a group of nice
dresses. I am always keen on presenting something
new, diﬀerent and outstanding,” she pointed out. “I
love presenting dresses with strange but simple ideas,
that represent my identity and personality, so people
would know that these are my designs,” she added.
“Haya’s debut with us last year was a truly fabulous
and impressive show,” says producer Andres Aquino.
“Her meticulous attention to detail and creative
imagination make her designs unique.”
Dynamic fashion designer, Jean Fares of Lebanon,
presented his latest collection of inspired evening
couture creations. The new collection is entitled
“Living...Energy” inspired by the ideal wearer of his
stunning designs: a dynamic, charming, thrilling and
Since establishing his own fashion house in 1992,
Jean Fares has become known for his elegant colour
combinations and innate classic style sense. His
couture bridal and evening creations are favoured by
an exclusive clientele in the Middle East. His previous
collection, “Living-Eco”, featured an impressive array
of beautifully crafted designs.
Mr. Fares has done successful fashion shows in
Paris, including the Hydra Pret-a-Porter event, and
in Lebanon as well as other Middle Eastern countries
such as Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In
2007, he did a series of fashion shows in the USA
in Miami, Houston and Washington D.C. before
enthusiastic audiences of dignitaries and VIPs.
“Jean Fares’s creations are of the highest caliber,
like so many other gifted couturiers from his part
of the world,” notes producer Andres Aquino. “We
are fortunate to have him participating in Couture
Fashion Week this season and look forward to an
extremely enthusiastic reception from our audience.”
Couture Fashion Week
A native New Yorker, Michael Mione showed an
aptitude for fashion starting at an early age. Inspired
by his mother’s glamorous style - she wore ﬁve inch
heels with everything and turned even mundane
occasions into black tie aﬀairs - Mr. Mione went on
to graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology
and later landed an internship with fashion icon Bob
Mackie, perhaps best known for his unforgettable
designs for Cher, Carol Burnett and many other
legendary performers. During his work with Bob
Mackie, Mr. Mione reﬁned his concept of style: that
clothing should reﬂect a women’s inner as well as
Mr. Mione gained experience on the business side
of the fashion industry through his tenure as store
manager with Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret and as a
Prada specialist at Neiman Marcus. These invaluable
insights into what is important to female consumers,
their buying patterns and preferences regarding
style, ﬁt and quality served Mr. Mione well when he
launched his own design label.
In 2005 Mr. Mione debuted his signature women’s
line with a fashion show at Harry’s Loft in New York
City. He went on to show his bridal collection as part
of the Wedding Channel couture fashion show at the
Waldorf-Astoria in New York. He recently opened his
couture salon in a chic Soho loft oﬀering a luxurious
shopping experience for his clients. Through his
impeccable designs, Mr. Mione strives to bring back
glamour with comfortable yet sexy clothes for today’s
sophisticated woman with discerning tastes.
a-porter. In 1994 Romanitza won ﬁrst prize at the
National Fashion Festival of Romania, and shortly
after became the ﬁrst Romanian designer invited to
open an exclusive showroom at the World Trade Plaza
Acclaimed Romanian couture fashion designer
in Bucharest. Her 1996 spring/summer collection
Romanitza Claudia Iovan presented her latest
entitled “Rainbow Flowers” was presented on the
collection at Couture Fashion Week 2008.
runway at the World Trade Plaza’s performance
Romanitza made her debut at Couture Fashion
hall - a gala performance that also celebrated the
Week in September 2007 with a dramatic runway
designer’s ﬁfth successful year in the fashion industry.
show at the world-famous St. Regis Hotel. In
The event was covered by all major Romanian fashion
December 2007 she returned to New York City
presenting her collection as part of the grand opening
Romanitza opened her second boutique in 1999 on
festivities of the Desmond Tutu Center.
Bucharest’s fashionable Calea Victoriei, and soon after
A former fashion model, Ms. Iovan launched her
became the exclusive retailer of Elegance Paris fabrics
Romanitza fashion house in 1991. The label soon
and the Elegance Boutique pret-a-porter line, as well
became one of the most successful in Romania, and
as of Borsalino hats and Bruno Magli shoes and bags
Ms. Iovan’s inimitable style and work ethic helped
for Romania. A few years later, Romanitza opened the
to build her reputation as a highly creative and
ﬁrst Escada Couture shop in Bucharest.
accomplished designer and business woman. The
“We are happy to be working with this talented
exquisite quality and aristocratic air of her designs
designer for the third time,” says producer Andres
have earned her distinctive runway shows a special
Aquino. “Romanitza is highly creative, business savvy
respect and recognition.
and a dynamic and visionary person.”
In 1993 Romanitza was invited by the Romanian
Romanitza continues to build her brand in the
Youth Travel Oﬃce to be part of a government-
fashion industry, presenting seasonal collections and
sponsored tourism promotion in the United Arab
taking part in many television programs and fashion
Emirates, with a collection of Arab-inspired pret-
events, including Bucharest Fashion Week.
MERCHANDISING Clare Louise Brides & Maids bridal shop in Cambridge, has become so successful
that both staﬀ numbers and turnover have doubled recently. We spoke to the owner,
Clare Louise Wilson, about her winning strategy for the business
Cast your eye along staﬀ and turnover,” she says. to satin and silks, so brides have plenty of choice.
the rails at Clare Along with a wedding stationery company, Pick We also have a very large selection of
Louise Brides & a Card, Clare Louise has been running the family bridesmaids’ dresses to compliment any bridal
Maids in Willingham, company for six years and was prompted to do so gown, which works particularly well as brides can
Cambridge and you will ﬁnd a large range of bridal as a result of customer enquiries. envisage the complete look.
gowns and separates, bridesmaids dresses and “It all stemmed from my stationery business. I The men’s formal hire is adjacent to our bridal
eveningwear at aﬀordable prices. The top designers was getting so many brides asking where to go for showroom, which means the brides can coordinate
on oﬀer include Bonny Bridal, Eva Jordan Couture, bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, accessories and their wedding day perfectly by matching colours
Dynasty, Nicola Anne and Samantha Jane, with a men’s formal hire, that I decided it was time to with the ﬁnest of detail in her groom’s outﬁt.
vast dress sizes range. start my own bridal and men’s formal hire shop,” Brides and their families often compliment us
Brides keen to personalise their wedding Clare Louise explains. on our friendly and relaxed atmosphere within the
dress can utilise the services of the experienced We asked more about her shrewd sales sense and showrooms, and we also make sure our dresses are
seamstress at the store, who is able to customise what she feels is the key to her success… designed with every body shape in mind, so there is
any oﬀ-the-peg gown. something to suit everybody.
Bridesmaids dresses are available, with sizes How did you decide on the location for the store?
ranging from two year olds to junior Miss ‘Plus’ I started my business from home, after converting How did you decide which designers to stock?
ranges for 14 year olds and all dresses are designed part of the house. As business boomed, I decided I chose stockists that are well known and well
to match the adult styles. to rent premises elsewhere, but still in Cambridge, loved within the bridal industry, as this makes a
A vast range of accessories, such as veils, shoes as this is where we had built our reputation. real diﬀerence to a bride who is often familiar with
and a large range of jewellery is also available, as I was particularly mindful of choosing premises an established brand. We also stock individual
is Mark Alan Formal Hire, which includes groom, with plenty of space and ample parking, as people brands that stand out from the crowd thanks to
best man and father of the bride attire, as well as come from far and wide to visit us. Above all, I their stunning fabrics and elegant designs.
Highland wear. wanted to oﬀer my brides a personal and stress- I ﬁnd that stockists who keep exclusivity
With seemingly everything the bridal party free environment, where I could listen to their between rival stores a real bonus too, as it keeps our
could possibly need on oﬀer, the family-run store ideas and expectations of their special day and they showrooms unique within the area.
is constantly busy and the owner and managing could choose the dress of their dreams.
director, Clare Louise Wilson, laughingly admits How have brides-to-be responded to your most
there aren’t enough hours in the day. How would you describe your current collection? recent collection?
“We ﬁnd the current bridal market extremely Our current collection of wedding gowns in store Brides have responded extremely well! They love
busy, so much so that I have recently doubled my is both stunning and unique, ranging from taﬀeta the fact that our designs are very varied, whether
the bride is looking for something to wear to opportunity to meet with the designer and view How often do you update your window display?
a beach wedding or a more traditional Church their complete collections. I also hold two three- We update our window display once a week to
ceremony, they can ﬁnd the perfect dress within day genuine sale events a year, oﬀering brides real keep it looking fresh. Brides always comment that
our showrooms at amazing value and of the bargains. We never have a constant sale rail in the every time they pass our window they have a fresh
highest quality. shop, as I feel this gives the wrong impression, but look to see what dresses are in there.
brides know that if we are having a three-day sale,
What do you enjoy most about your role and the we genuinely mean it. What do you believe is the key to running a
bridal business in general? successful bridal retail business?
The part of my job I enjoy most is being in the What do you feel makes your store unique and Clare Louise prides itself on being able to cater
shop and talking to the brides about what they how do you self-promote? to the needs of the whole wedding party; brides,
want for their special day, then seeing the look on Our attention to detail in every way, from the ﬁrst bridesmaids, ﬂower girls, groom, ushers, father of
their face (and their mum’s!), when they put on appointment to the collection of the dresses and the bride and the best man and I feel this is a key
THE dress. I also love knowing I can give them suits, this is what makes us stand out from other aspect of a bridal business. Oﬀering collections that
exactly what they want within their budget. bridal shops. Our willingness to always go that are tried and tested, but always being on the look
extra mile and to exceed customer expectations is a out for new suppliers as the trends change, is also
Do you hold in-store events? marketing strategy that we have evolved and pride important.
I ﬁnd designer days a must, as this gives brides the ourselves on.
What has been your greatest success in the
business so far?
Amongst my successes was recently being informed
that we are one of the top 10 best stockists in the
country for our men’s formal hire and gaining a
contract for our wedding stationery at the best and
most prestigious hotel in Cambridge.
My greatest success in the business though, is
the amount of referrals I receive, along with the
many ‘thank you’ letters.
How would you like to see your business develop
in the next ﬁve years?
Over the next few years I want to build on the
collections we have with our current suppliers, but
more importantly, continue oﬀering our brides a
comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with the best
service that they deserve. After all, it is one of the
most important days of their life. A
For more information on Clare Louise Brides
& Maids, call +44 (0)1954 205 248 or visit
To view our new collection please call us or email
0121 705 2244
“A stunning collection of maternity wedding gowns for brides that
refuse to compromise on style just because they’re pregnant.”
View our new collection at
the BBEH in the exclusive
Designer Hall – stand D5.
Appointments now being
taken, please email
New pricing structure offering
excellent margins for our stockists.
No minimum order quantity.
Excellent lead-times and an
in-stock programme available.
Madeline Isaac-James – British
designed stylish maternity wedding
gowns and maternity bridesmaid
dresses for discerning retailers.
T: +44 (0) 1252 377725
Top fashions for babies, toddlers, ﬂower girls and page boys
Expand your in-store oﬀering by stocking up on cute suits,
stylish shoes and pretty ﬂower girl dresses. We take a look at
some of the companies oﬀering these exclusive lines...
With summer weddings in mind, Henry Kaye has
introduced a brand new collection of lace ﬂower girl dresses
and accessories inspired by the latest wedding dress designs.
For a classic, romantic look, lace is this season’s popular
choice of fabric for bridal gowns. Satin is a perfect partner for
lace and the latest dresses are often adorned with satin sashes or ribbons.
To complement this look, Henry Kaye has just launched a select collection of bridesmaid dresses,
boleros and bags all based on a gorgeous creamy ﬂoral lace and satin, a perfect combination for
The collection is designed for ﬂower girls aged 12 months to nine years and comprises a choice of
dresses, bolero and dolly bag. The scalloped edged bolero is ideal as a cover up to protect little shoulders
either from the chill or the sun. The dresses come in a choice of styles either with a matching lace
skirt or a lace bow sash. The matching lace dolly bag is the ﬁnal touch, perfect for holding those little
essentials such a hairbrush and a few sweets. Little Eglantine
Nicki Macfarlane Bridesmaids Designer, Stephanie Staub, is known for her wonderfully
www.nickimacfarlanebridesmaids.co.uk girly ﬂower girl dresses, in a range of beautiful fabrics. The
made-to-measure Isabelle ﬂower girl dress shown here is an
Nicki Macfarlane Bridesmaids interpret the bride’s
enchanting dress priced at £195 in a size 4. This red taﬀeta
dream by designing and making exquisite outﬁts.
dress is embroidered with pretty dragonﬂies and is completed
Oﬀering bespoke ﬂower girl, bridesmaid and special
with a large creamy sash. The creamy ﬂowers crown (£40)
occasion dresses, and page boy suits for every
adds to the unique look of the ﬂowergirl.
occasion, from pretty country weddings to elegant
London occasions, Nicki Macfarlane is able to oﬀer
a very personal service.
All the dresses have the child’s name embroidered
inside and come with a pretty carrier bag containing
their accessories. They can then put their everyday
clothes in the bags to keep them together to take
back after the wedding – saves sorting out the pile
of unidentiﬁed clothes and shoes on someone’s
Etiquette are proud of the fact that they can supply suits to
almost every shape and size person. In the vast majority of
their garments they start at 20” jackets and 18” waist trousers
which in theory will ﬁt as small as a two-year-old toddler.
“This season we have extended our contempory prince edward
range in brown, beige and silver grey to incorporate children’s
sizes which means that a full wedding party can now wear
coordinating garments,” they say. “The same applies to all of
our waistcoats; every new product line that we introduce is
now available in smaller sizes as this is what our customers
said they wanted to see. In addition to the clothes being
available to children we are also oﬀering shoes for hire down to a size 1. In terms of highland wear
we are the only hire company that oﬀers Skean Dhu’s in smaller sizes to suit children. All this makes
Etiquette the most child friendly hire company in exsistance today.
For the special occasions in a little girl’s life Mori Lee
has a charming selection of ﬂower girl dresses, ﬁrst
communion gowns and christening gowns. Embellished Alfred Angelo
with whimsical touches of youthful innocence like delicate www.alfredangelounitedkingdom.com
ﬂowers, pearls and crystals, these ﬂower girl dresses and
event gowns will mark this special event as the memory of Aside from its extensive bridal and bridesmaids’ ranges,
a lifetime. Whether you’re drawn to practical touches like Alfred Angelo are also able to oﬀer stunning ﬂower
a removable hemline band of colour, or the precious design girl dresses, in a choice of 55 accent colours, along with
of a waterfall skirt with ruching, there’s something for traditional white or ivory. This is ideal for brides wanting to
everyone in the collection. match all dresses to their chosen colour theme.
Importers of Craft Bridal Flowers & Wedding Accesories - Paper, Display Flowers,
Hand Painted Millinery Flowers
Unit 2, Watermill Business Centre, Edison Road, Enﬁeld, Middlesex. United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8443 4555 Fax: +44 (0)20 8443 4999
Email: info@stencoﬂowers.co.uk Web: www.stencoﬂowersltd.co.uk
Trust in your
trade mark Upali Dayasena, senior research adviser at Business Link, answers your
questions on trade marking your business.
What is a trade mark and how can it Registering a trade mark costs money and strongest trade marks are those registered
beneﬁt my business? you need to get it right. But registration at the UK Intellectual Property Oﬃce
establishes in law that your mark is a trade (formerly the Patent Oﬃce). But trade
Trade marks are signs, symbols, logos, mark and belongs to you alone. You then marks don’t have to be registered, as
words, sounds or music (such as jingles) have an automatic right to sue anybody companies have common-law rights that
that distinguish your products and who infringes it. In fact, just registering protect them if they can prove to have
services from those of your competitors. a trade mark can serve as a deterrent to used trade marks over time. Also bear in
It can be one of the most powerful people who might otherwise infringe it. mind that more than one company can
marketing tools you have, helping use the same trade mark if, for example,
customers recognise your business for the I’m thinking of starting a new business they are supplying diﬀerent products or
quality of its products or services. or developing a sub-brand. How do I services.
A trade mark can be seen as a badge make sure the name I choose is unique It’s really important to get this area
of origin for a business. It provides a and that I’m not treading on anyone of your business right, and the sooner
distinctive way of representing your goods else’s toes by using their name? you start the better. If you do infringe
or services that sets them apart from someone else’s name or trade mark you
those of other traders. It is a valuable Well done for thinking about this early, may be forced to change your company
piece of intellectual property and can play because not doing so could cost your name. Not only will that cost you money
an important role in your marketing and business dearly. Start by making sure that and time, but you’ll also lose the goodwill
branding activities. you’re not planning to use the same name you’ve built up in that name. And if a
A trade mark can be: as a similar business that’s in your area or competitor can prove that you’ve damaged
• a word, phrase or slogan; sector, or that may be supplying similar their business, you can be sued for
• logo or symbol; products or services. damages and compensation.
• sign or form of packaging; So start early, do your research, and
• sound or jingle; Names protect you and your company.
• colour; Check your preferred business name on
• gesture; the Companies House online registry, How do I register a trade mark outside
• brand name; or www.companieshouse.gov.uk. You’ll the UK?
• your company name. quickly ﬁnd out if there are any limited
A trade mark must be distinctive for companies using the name, but not Registered trade marks are territorial. If
the goods and services you use it for. And whether any sole traders or partnerships you apply for a trade mark in the UK,
it mustn’t mislead people about the nature are. So do widespread searches using you’ll only have protection in the UK. If
of your products or services. Common Google, Yahoo, etc as well as yell.com, you’re considering taking your services
law may give some trade mark protection thomsonlocal.com and other business or exporting your goods overseas - now
automatically, provided suﬃcient trading directories and phone books. And do be or in the future - you might want to
reputation and goodwill have been built careful to try out diﬀerent variants of the consider registering your trade mark in
up in a mark. But this is likely to be name that might sound or look the same. other countries in order to gain wider
diﬃcult and costly to defend against protection.
infringement. Trade marks Generally, you have to register trade
You should consider registering your The other thing to be careful of is that marks in each of the countries where
trade mark for added protection. If you you’re not infringing anyone else’s trade you want protection. However, there are
want to register a trade mark in the UK it mark. These can be signs, symbols, logos, two other options which could make life
must be possible to represent it in words words, sounds or music that distinguish easier.
and pictures. products or services from each other. The
1. Registering in the European Union 6. Make sure your trade mark is used abstracts while working for the INSPEC For further help with
You can apply for a Community correctly. Do not allow it to become a database. Trade Marks visit…
Trade Mark through the Oﬃce for generic name, like aspirin, escalator and Upali is a Member of the Institution of Business Link
Harmonization in the Internal Market linoleum. Electrical Engineers and the Chartered www.businesslink.gov.
(OHIM) website at http://oami.europa. Institute of Library and Information uk/east
eu/en/mark/default.htm. 7. Once you have a registered trade mark, Professionals. His mission at Business
This will give you protection in all police your rights. Make sure no-one Link is to: “advise and meet the needs of Chartered Institute of
European Union countries. infringes it. If someone does threaten to our clients – with respect to proper use Patent Attorneys
infringe your registration, seek urgent and acquisition of intellectual property www.cipa.org.uk
2. Registering worldwide advice from a trade mark attorney. rights so companies can maximise their
Under the Madrid System, if you’ve intangible assets within the IP law”. UK Intellectual
applied for UK registration of your 8. Use a trade mark attorney. For help Property Oﬃce
trade mark you can also apply for an ﬁnding your nearest one call Upali on +44 The Information and Intelligence Team at www.ipo.gov.uk
International Trade Mark through the (0)8457 171 615. Business Link are here to help you.
World Intellectual Property Organization Getting the information you need The Institute of Trade
at www.wipo.int/madrid/en/index.html Business Link to help you run your business quickly Mark Attorneys
Upali Dayasena, (BSc, MIET, MCLIP) and easily can make a huge diﬀerence. www.itma.org.uk
The eight golden rules on trade marks is a senior research adviser on the team. Business Link’s team of 40 information
The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys With Business Link for 12 years, Upali advisers are on call daily to give practical World Intellectual
can help you ﬁnd a trade mark attorney is now responsible for the information business information and advice which is Property Organisation
who will be able to help you to protect broking activity with particular emphasis impartial and, in most instances, free of www.wipo.int/madrid/
trade marks anywhere in the world. They on use of online sources. charge. en/index.html
have also outlined some ‘golden rules’ on A graduate electrical engineer from The Information and Intelligence
trade marks: Portsmouth Polytechnic (now the Centre hotline on +44 (0)8457 171
University of Portsmouth), Upali has 615 goes straight through to one of the
1. Stand out - make sure your trade mark worked in the telecommunications Business Link team who can oﬀer you
is distinctive rather than descriptive. and information management ﬁelds help with a wide range of information
for many years. He has a wide-ranging from credit checks on new customers to
2. Check it out - conduct searches to understanding of the information help with business planning or mailing
make sure that your chosen trade mark is needs of business and industry and a lists. A
available for use and registration and that commitment to the appropriate use of
it does not infringe any other trade mark. technology to deliver those needs.
An experienced online researcher
3. Decide which classes of goods or with a wide-ranging knowledge of
services will be in association with your online resources, covering business,
trade mark. science & technology and intellectual For information,
property information, Upali has practical advice and
4. Think about the geographical coverage compiled and edited two bibliographies support to help you run
you will need. on microprocessor applications in or grow your business,
engineering and manufacturing industry contact Business Link
5. Apply to register your trade mark - a for the Institution of Electrical Engineers on +44 (0)8457 171
trade mark attorney can help you. and was also responsible for editing 615 or log onto www.
telecommunications and computer science businesslink.gov.uk/east.
View the Collection at BBEH
The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th-9th September 2008
Enquiries or Agent to call, tel: 01256 766 744
View the Collection at BBEH
The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th-9th September 2008
Enquiries or Agent to call, tel: 01256 766 744
Stand and Deliver We speak to Chris Hartley, Show Director of International Jewellery London, to
ﬁnd out about this year’s event
How did the new our advisory panel, which comprises key players from
creative come across the industry.
about and what
feedback have you This year Autumn Fair and IJL are at diﬀerent times.
had since? How do you anticipate this will impact visitor/
The idea for the exhibitor numbers?
new creative was IJL has run on the same dates for over half a century.
based on solid We are always evaluating the date by speaking to
research and visitors and exhibitors to understand timelines.
conversations with We ﬁnd that the timing of the show is perfect for
exhibitors, retailers, independent retailers, who are ordering stock for
manufacturers and Christmas, and for multiples and larger retailers, who
designers. We found that, while our exhibitors were are ordering further ahead - perhaps for Mother’s Day
fully aware of the various zones within the exhibition, and beyond.
as the show continues to grow many retailers were IJL focuses on mid to high-end manufacturers
unaware of the breadth of our oﬀering. IJL now and designer-makers. We are the largest specialist
boasts dedicated areas showcasing the best across Fine jewellery show in the UK and, therefore, attract
Jewellery, Jewellery Solutions (tooling, packaging, a clearly deﬁned target market. According to our
technology solutions etc), Diamonds, Gems, Silver & research 40% of all visitors do not attend any other
Fashion, Watches, International pavilions and a new show in the UK.
zone called the Design Gallery which incorporates
the British Design Pavilion, plus two new zones: Which sectors of the jewellery market are currently
Designer Brands and the International Design ﬂourishing?
Pavilion. The new creative will help visitors identify The ones doing well are the mid to high-end cutting
key areas of interest during their visit to the show, edge designers who are innovative and design-focused.
especially as the show now hosts exhibitors from over This is an incredibly buoyant area of the market.
30 countries. The creative received full approval from Retailers that are pushing design-driven jewellery are,
in general, beneﬁting from stocking such lines, while
those selling volume seem to be aﬀected the most by
the present economic climate.
My feeling is that any organisation that is creative,
How do you anticipate the current ‘credit crunch’ innovative, quick to embrace change and has a strong
will aﬀect the jewellery market? What can retailers product oﬀering coupled with excellent customer
do to minimise the impact of the testing current focus will continue to do well.
At present retailers are not buying as much stock as How would you like to see the show develop over
they may have done in previous years. There are two the next few years?
key reasons for this: ﬁrstly, the price of precious metal London is a fantastic destination for the show and
is very high and secondly, retailers are running their IJL is attracting more international retailers than ever
existing stock down. Therefore, in August/September, before. Over the next few years we will work hard
retailers are going to need to buy their vital Christmas to support the British market and bring non-UK
stock, so ordering should be strong at IJL. retailers into our event.
In the current economic climate, retailers, designers I am especially keen to champion British
and manufacturers are all working harder to develop participation in overseas jewellery exhibitions,
their businesses. Retailers, in particular, need to look particularly from designer-makers and strong UK-
at multi-channel marketing, rather than relying solely brands. It is only by showing overseas retailers the
on a bricks-and-mortar shop. strength of British jewellery design that we can expect
In an economic downturn one of the ﬁrst areas them to visit the UK’s leading jewellery exhibition.
that organisations cut is training. IJL’s education At IJL this September, we will have over 600
programme boasts the largest array of jewellery related exhibitors. I am especially proud of the Design
seminars anywhere in the UK, visitors can attend Gallery, a purpose-built mezzanine which will feature
a range of sessions focusing on business solutions, around 160 new and established jewellery designer-
training, marketing, trends and forecasting with some makers, many of which only show at IJL. A
internationally renowned speakers, including Martin Further information
Rapaport and Jamie Fraser of Hamilton & Inches. Register in advance for International Jewellery London
The best thing is it’s all entirely free to IJL visitors! by visiting www.jewellerylondon.com.
Designer dresses handmade in the UK
BBEH STAND D8
191 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 1HA
tel: 01342 321514 www.emmatindley.co.uk
tel: 01707 643633
We champion UK-based bridal
manufacturers and designers
In today’s difﬁcult economic climate it’s never been so important to Nicola Harvey-Rowley,
support home-grown talent. Britain boasts some of the world’s most Head Designer at Nicola Anne Bridalwear
gifted bridal and accessories designers who, despite spiralling
overheads, stay true to their roots and continue to make their
dresses and accessories in the UK. We speak to a handful of British-
based ﬁrms to determine the challenges and beneﬁts of retaining a Have Nicola Anne dresses always been designed and
British-based manufacturing process. made in the UK? If so, why was this so important to
Nicola Anne Gowns have always been designed and made
by our team in Leicestershire.
We have been consistently told by our customers that
our styles are classic, colourful and, above all, ‘diﬀerent’.
Together with our ﬂexibility in the designs and sizing, we
are able to oﬀer a unique service to our retailers.
What challenges do companies that design and made
their dresses in the UK face?
Our aim is to be competitive, but with the rising costs of
our own economy, this will always be a challenge. That
said, we would not look to source manufacturers overseas
as all our customers buy from us mainly because we are
What beneﬁts do you feel the company has over those
Karl Metcalfe, who choose to manufacture abroad?
Sales Manager at Liza Designs
www.lizadesigns.co.uk Quite simply, our company delivers what it promises! We
have complete control over our bespoke orders. Our
Have your tiaras always been designed and made in the UK? If so, customers are able to speak to us regarding sizing for
why was this so important to the brand? gowns and are even able to ask advice on design changes.
In addition, our quick turn around for rush orders
Yes, I began designing and making all the tiaras myself, and although I becomes invaluable during the busy months when every
now have a great team behind me the ﬂexibility of manufacturing in order counts.
house is one of our greatest advantages. Liza Designs now has a
reputation spanning more than 20 years of unrivalled customer service
What challenges do companies that design and make their bridal
accessories in the UK face?
It’s all about labour costs and overheads. Most of our competitors use
factories in the Far East which have been much cheaper than using a
UK workforce. I think over the next few years we will see the gap
between the two options narrow with the growing economies of the
Far Eastern countries and transport costs escalating. Liza has the skills
to perform well under the new conditions that UK-based companies
will be facing.
What beneﬁts do you feel your company has over those who choose
to manufacture abroad?
Liza Designs is in control of its own future. If we were to let a
customer down it would be our fault - there is nobody else to blame!
We carry vast stocks of materials, we have good reliable staﬀ and we
remain both eﬃcient and ﬂexible. We don’t let our customers down:
they sometimes “ask the impossible” of us and they know we will
BRIDAL, BRIDESMAIDS & PROMS
0208 802 1399
To view our collections visit us at The Harrogate Bridal Fair, Hall Q Stand 7
Head Designer at Emma Tindley
Have Emma Tindley dresses always been designed and made in the
UK? If so, why was this so important to the brand?
My dresses have always been made in the UK and on my premises as I
like to oversee every stage of the manufacturing process. This way, should
any issues arise - such as quality of fabric to the intricate stitching of
beadwork - I am on hand to ensure the quality remains constant. The
dresses are all ﬁnished to a high standard and using couture techniques
and some hand stitching, which would be lost if they were to be made
abroad. I also like to make the dress designs as ﬂexible as I can, so girls
can personalise the styles by adding or changing details to each individual
dress; this would be impossible to oversee abroad. I am quite determined
that Emma Tindley dresses will always remain Made in the UK.
What challenges do companies that design and made their dresses in
the UK face?
There are two big challenges when you choose to manufacture in the UK:
The costs of employing staﬀ in the UK and costs of premises, so my
Joyce Jackson, dresses are in a higher price bracket. I could never compete with China.
Managing Director of Joyce Jackson Bridal Veils Also the number of dresses I make is lower than those who manufacture
abroad. I have a small team behind me and ﬁnd it diﬃcult to get
Have Joyce Jackson Bridal Veils always been designed seamstresses. As I’m sure the industry is aware, it’s a dying art form and a
and made in the UK? If so, why was this so important to bit like trying to ﬁnd a plumber!
What beneﬁts do you feel the company has over those who choose to
When I started the business 22 years ago everyone was manufacture abroad?
manufacturing in the UK and I never gave another
thought to someone else doing work for me I think the main advantage I have over dresses made abroad is the fact
that I can be that bit more ﬂexible with the styles and girls can change
What challenges do companies that design and make the details or even design a dress unique to them. My bespoke service
their bridal accessories in the UK face? does just that and girls get to see their dresses come together from start to
ﬁnish. We also know exactly when the dresses will be ﬁnished and don’t
I do not think that there is a big threat to accessories as it have to worry about customs!
is impossible to carry all the stock needed. Furthermore,
in my opinion, deliveries from China are not good at all. Why is it so important for British bridal retailers to support companies
who make their products in the UK?
What beneﬁts do you feel the company has over those
who choose to manufacture abroad? Our customers in general have found out the hard way that companies
that manufacture oﬀ shore are constrained by their suppliers, and so
We can supply an urgent custom-made order within a day. cannot always say ‘Yes’ to the tight schedules that most retailers face these
This is an invaluable service for retailers. days. Retailers must look at the longer term and see that supplier service
is every bit as important as their own customer service. Liza Designs is
Why is it so important for retailers to support bridal keeping the skills we need alive in the UK by compromising some of the
and accessories designers who create and make their high proﬁts demanded by some companies who become more and more
designs in the UK? reliant on the Far East as their cheaper option. A
If we do not have the support then the British industry
will die and newcomers coming into the trade will not
have the manufacture process in place and will import. In
all the years of being in bridal I have had very few
competitors. That shows that they do not want to make it,
and it is too diﬃcult to buy from abroad.
Do you feel there’s anything extra the government could
do to better support UK-based designers and
manufacturers? If so, what?
Yes, I feel the government could cut some of the red tape,
for example, making VAT clearer on certain items. I am
also in favour of the government giving grants to British
manufacturers who exhibit abroad and feel they should
promote British whenever possible.
in their eyes
Designers Sarah and Christine Hatton are the
driving force behind their increasingly successful
Crystabelle bridal and occasion jewellery brand.
We talk to them about their bespoke designs and
determination to be diﬀerent
ﬁeld to be too constrained and I needed something
I had carte blanche to create exactly what I wanted,
with no brief to adhere to,” explains Sarah Hatton.
“I started making jewellery for myself, then a
friend asked me to design something for her and it
snowballed from there.”
Christine Hatton trained as a dress designer and
worked in women’s and childrenswear for many years,
before branching into wedding dress design.
“The love of the wedding industry kept me there
for quite some time,” she remembers, “but when
Magpie brides intent on as much sparkle as they can Sarah suggested a turn to jewellery, it just felt right.
muster for their wedding day and retailers keen to I was able to remain in an industry I loved, but with
provide it for them are amongst the many fans of the perfect chance to stretch my creativity in a totally
Crystabelle jewellery, as the brand promises to add as diﬀerent direction.”
much twinkle as customers require to their purchase, Sarah and Christine wanted to feature crystal in the
thanks to the unique nature of each bespoke piece name of the brand, as it originally deﬁned the focus of
and the best quality materials that they use, including their designs.
Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and gems “Belle means charming and beautiful and we
sourced from around the world. believe we are makers of both, hence the company
Founded in 2004 by family members Sarah and name,” they explain. Their current collections are a
Christine Hatton and based in Cheshire, Crystabelle celebration of all things pearl and sparkle.
has grown to be a very creditable company in a very “One of the collections we have introduced most
competitive market and is now available through recently is our freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal
retailers and on-line. tiaras and complementary jewellery,” they explain.
Both from art and design backgrounds, Sarah and “The pearls and vines are mixed with the tiniest
Christine design and make all the jewellery they sell of fully-coated silver Swarovski crystal which gives
and are also in charge of running the business. They that extra sparkle and lifts the iridescent colours from
have a distinct passion for all things creative and the pearls. Pearls are the ultimate symbol of love and
credit this as the impetus and reason for their decision marriage and have always been considered valuable
to launch the business. since man ﬁrst walked the earth.”
“I have a degree in graphic design, but I found that “The components in this new collection aren’t
necessarily new to the wedding ﬁeld, but what we our entire range is adaptable in colour, component and
do with them is. We don’t just string bracelets and dimension, we literally have something for everyone!”
necklaces, we entwine several threads, producing “We will often design a range exclusively for
unique patterns. The end result is quite stunning. We a stockist, so that they have a jewellery and tiara
also have an eye for the little details which may not be collection that harmonises with their wedding and
explicit to the design, but are key to the ﬁnal piece.” bridesmaids’ dresses perfectly.”
Another of their new collections is a vintage- The response has certainly been incredibly
inspired collection of tiaras and jewellery, with subtle favourable, as the brand goes from strength to
colours of Swarovski crystals to give the gold pieces a strength. Sarah and Christine credit this to their
modern edge. unique designs.
“The collection we are currently working on is our “We have always strived to make something
statement necklaces for brides that want a little more diﬀerent. It would be easy to simply reinvent the
drama,” Christine says. wheel but that’s not what we are about. It gives
“We’ve been inspired by diﬀerent periods in history us pleasure to design something new and our
and given the pieces a contemporary edge. The customers and retailers like this about us. They are so
necklaces are quite beautiful and perfect for brides complimentary about our jewellery and we can’t help
with a little attitude!” but smile at some of the lovely responses our bridal
Sarah and Christine source materials from all over range receives.”
the world. Shortlisted as ﬁnalists at the Wrapit Wedding
“The hunt for them can take months, but we’re Awards Bridal Accessories category in 2008, the
thrilled when we think we’ve found something no-one couple consider their greatest success in the business
else is using and we put great store in ﬁnding quality so far to be making tiaras for Coleen Nolan.
components as we will only use the best in our work,” “It was very exciting to see them worn by such a
they explain. well known celebrity,” says Christine. “Also, the fact
They try to launch new lines every couple of that more people are recognizing the brand name is a
months as they have a large customer base that like to success in itself for us.”
be kept aware of the latest jewellery trends.
“We’re constantly coming up with new ideas So what can we expect from the brand in 2009?
though,” they laugh. “Designing is certainly the best “More colour!” they state. “We love using colour
bit of our job!” in our wedding jewellery, but brides are still wary
The couple have beneﬁted from press coverage to of using too much of it. Obviously clear crystal and
promote their business so far, in addition to attending white pearls are never going to go out of fashion, but
wedding fairs when they have the time, as they feel soft colours are becoming more popular.”
this is a great way to meet prospective customers and If the current level of success enjoyed by these
keep in touch with demand. They also make full use of ladies is anything to go by, we suggest that trend
their well-designed website for promotion. predictors for the bridal jewellery market take note! A
“We launched our website last year,” says Sarah.
“We absolutely love it as it looks very feminine and
inviting and our customers have found it extremely
easy to use.”
So how did they source stockists?
To ﬁnd out more about Crystabelle, call
“Our stockists have found us so far,” they muse. “They
+44 (0)161 485 6585 for mail order and stockist
have read press coverage and like that we are making
enquiries, +44 (0)161 486 6099 for trade/wholesale
something a little diﬀerent. We think our range is so
enquiries, or visit www.crystabelle.co.uk
dynamic that we suit any outlet and, because virtually
We showcase three pages
of bridal gowns that feature
fabulous folded fabrics
+44 (0)20 8554 2332
2. Ian Stuart
+44 (0)20 8761 6302
3. Eternity Bride
+44 (0)870 770 7670
+44 (0)845 2968740
5. Phil Collins
+44 (0)8701 124 858
6. Alan Hannah
+44 (0)20 8882 0007
7. Impression Bridal UK
+44 (0)1727 851 452
8. Mori Lee
+44 (0)1476 541 116
9. Justin Alexander
+44 (0)1908 615 599
10. 11. 12.
10. Suzanne Neville
+44 (0)1483 533 209 13.
11. Victoria Shelsher
+44 (0)1844 290 135
12. Essense of Australia
+44 (0)800 961 140
13. Je T’aime
+44 (0)20 8554 2332
Setting up costs-Commercial Property Lease-
Fixtures-Fittings Advertising-Sales Stationary
-Purchasing stock-Fitting garments etc…
Increase sales-Stock control-Showroom design
Stationary with Terms’ conditions-
Disposal of discontinued dresses etc…
Valuation of existing business
Current stock and sales value- Business Plan –
Employment- Managing a successful business etc…
Picture supplied by www.evajordan.com
Supply to the Bridal Industry
Importing from Far East -Business Plan-Financial Cost
Trade Exhibitions etc…
30 Years experience in the Bridal & Fashion
Industry Consultancy from £350 per day
Visit the web site for additional information
Telephone 01256 766 744
Visit us at BBEH,
The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th - 9th September 2008
All enquiries tel: 01256 766 744
We are looking for new stockists in all areas
Simply Stunning Bridal Gowns Ltd
92 Dudley Road, Sedgley, Dudley DY3 1TA
Tel: 01902 677277
Enquiries: 0208 801 9797 E-mail: email@example.com
1. 2. 3. Bridal Trends
1. Alfred Angelo
+44 (0)1908 262 626
+44 (0)845 2968740
3. Sassi Holford
+44 (0)20 7584 1532
+44 (0)1621 856 497
5. Art Couture
+44 (0)1432 815 978
Encourage your brides
to add a splash of 6. Kosibah Creations
+44 (0)20 7424 8832
colour to their dresses www.kosibah.co.uk
with a vibrant sash
7. Essense of Australia
+44 (0)800 961 140
8. Kate Sherford
+44 (0)1823 256 012
Cute capped sleeves are all
the rage – here are our pick
of the best
2. Bridal Trends
1. Impression Bridal UK
7. +44 (0)1727 851 452
+44 (0)20 8554 2332
3. Eternity Bride
+44 (0)870 770 7670
4. Sassi Holford
+44 (0)20 7584 1532
+44 (0)1621 855 653
6. Charlotte Balbier
+44 (0)1625 521 547
+44 (0)845 2968740
1. Bridal Trends
A fabulous neckline can add elegance and sophistication to a
gown. Here are our favourites…
1. Sacha James
+44 (0)1621 856 497
+44 (0)1621 855 653
3. Kosibah Creations
+44 (0)20 7424 8832
+44 (0)20 8554 2332
5. Ian Stuart
+44 (0)20 8761 6302
6. Suzanne Neville
+44 (0)1483 533 209
This winter Heirloom will introduce more
accessories for evening wear, for example fancy
bows, cummerbunds and waistcoats. Their
current collection has broad appeal and features
an extensive range of waistcoats to enhance any
A Man’s World
Stock up with some of these stunning grooms’ accessories
Babette Wasserman is renowned for her cutting edge jewellery
designs for men and women. Her latest range of cuﬄinks and
RICHARD JONES accessories is bang on trend for 2008. The men’s Pelle Plaited cuﬀs
www.jones-menswear.com mix leather with sterling silver or rose gold clasps for a stylish way to
Richard Jones has been a specialist shirt maker for close on four decades.They are a bring the leather trend to your outﬁt. The cuﬀs are made from ﬁne
leading supplier to the UK retail sector for wedding and special occasion shirts. strands of black or brown leather plaited into a tight rope-like cuﬀ
They oﬀer a stock supported service for men’s and boys’ styles. At any one time they with a simple clasp.
keep 100,000 shirts in their warehouse. They stock selected sizes up to a collar size of 23. The new London Links cuﬄinks bring in the trend for sterling
In addition they also oﬀer a full range of accessories from stock including waistcoats, silver accessories. A simple solid silver design in a quirky triangular
wedding cravats and bows. shape is an easy way to wear sterling silver every day.
New products for this season include an increased range of co-ordinating silk ties,
cuﬄinks and handkerchiefs presented in a silk covered gift box for the wedding day. They
oﬀer lots of plain colours to ensure the men’s silk accessories will match the colour theme
of the wedding occasion. ANTHONY FORMALWEAR
In a response to frequent requests they have now added a Page Boy design to their www.anthonyformalwear.co.uk
successful range of wedding day socks for the men in the wedding party. Leading the way in vibrant, stylish suits and accessories, Anthony
Formalwear boasts a growing selection of waistcoats to add a touch
of ﬂair to any suit. From traditional formal wear to the contemporary
designer range, the wide selection allows men to create any look,
from classic chic to individual or high fashion.
As one of the UK’s leading formal hire
companies, Cameron Ross has a comprehensive
range of accessories to accompany its stylish
formal, evening and highland wear ranges.
From cummerbunds and ties in every colour of
the rainbow and more, to traditional top hats
and stylish black shoes, the accessories range is
7 Standen Street
Royal Tunbridge Wells Royal Tunbridge Wells
TN4 9RL TN2 5TN
(01892) 521146 (01892) 548511
“If you are attending the
BBEH, try to visit for the full
three days. This will allow
yourself time to browse and
see everything on offer as the
exhibitors spend time and
money to give you the very
best show in the industry”
‘Tis the Season
Regular Special agent
columnist, I wonder how many retailers are aware of what
Jane is involved in the life of an agent or company
representative? For those of you who aren’t sure, I
Watson, thought I would give you an insight into some of
explains the experiences encountered on a day to day basis.
Their ﬁrst call of the day would perhaps
be at 9.30am. To arrive on time the agent or
make space representative would need to set the alarm for
for the new 6.00am, have a shower and a light breakfast ready
to leave home at 7.00am. The appointment may
bridal collections, and asks only be a one and half hour trip; however, having
retailers to consider the role of to allow for traﬃc could take two and a half hours.
The appointment is normally booked a few days
an agent or representative before or even weeks in advance. Knowing the
retailer is expecting a visit, the agent would expect
them to be ready to view the collection. However,
this is not always the situation; arriving with a
collection of dresses and abruptly told you only
New collections for 2009
rail and give them to the local colleges or
have half an hour as they are busy, it is obvious they
universities for use by the students. I am sure
didn’t really want to see the collection and didn’t
Are you ready? they will be very grateful for the beautiful fabrics.
know how to say “no”.
Do you know what your budget is for the Alternatively, send them to countries abroad.
Another example is clients will look at the
new designs? When giving them to colleges or universities
complete collection on oﬀer then say they can’t
At this time of year, you may possibly be viewing consider putting a small cut in the bodice so that
aﬀord to purchase any more dresses at the moment.
the new designs for 2009. If you have not already the dresses can’t be passed on to charity shops,
Clients cancelling appointments when the
been shown the collections, you may be looking creating unfair competition for you.
agent is already on the road to visit them is
forward to viewing the vast number of suppliers So now your rail is still full but only with
another situation to try to avoid. Indeed, visiting
and designers at the British Bridal Exhibition, modern dresses. It is not a good time to have
retailers can be costly and disheartening for the
Harrogate (BBEH) in September. a sale now so wait, if you can, until September
agent or representative and a waste of time for
If you are attending the BBEH, try to visit when the majority of brides will begin to look for
for the full three days. This will allow yourself their dresses for 2009.
My point is spare a thought for your agent or
time to browse and see everything on oﬀer as the If you have ordered your 2009 designs they
representative; they work hard, have busy lives
exhibitors spend time and money to give you the will possibly arrive in September so during
and need genuine customers.
very best show in the industry your sale you can also show your new designs.
If you have your budget ready so you know what
This is the time you need to be looking at your Therefore your advertising will work twice as
you can aﬀord to spend then every one is happy. A
existing samples to create room for new ones. hard for you
You may be adding to your already full sale rail to Don’t forget the “three day genuine sale” is Further information
make way for the new collections, so make some best. (See Attire Bridal, issue 1 - if you missed Visit the website with your point of view or email
informed decisions now. this issue, simply request it for free via the Jane Watson at www.startingabridalbusiness.com
Sort out the really old samples on the sale website www.attirebridal.com) or www.bridalbusiness.co.uk.
The bridal market changes almost as often as the mind
of a bride and, as with business, it is often the support
provided that seals any crucial decisions. Many people
consider a bridal gown to be the most important
purchase in the lead up to a wedding, however, a dream
dress cannot meet expectations unless the bride feels
and looks comfortable and conﬁdent, elusive emotions
that can be achieved with the appropriate choice of
underwear. With bridal fashion constantly evolving,
the right lingerie can make or break the sale of a gown,
as many styles could be rejected as impractical without
due consideration of the lingerie available. In oﬀering
lingerie, retailers can tap into an area of the market
which takes up minimal space but oﬀers a large return
in sales, whether in relation to a gorgeous gown or as a
stand alone purchase for the all important honeymoon.
Read on for our pick of the most stunning styles for the
ceremony and the celebrations that follow...
As the image of the modern bride transforms,
lingerie is becoming an important and inﬂuential
add on sale. Read on to discover the best products on
TRADITIONAL BRIDAL White Mischief Bridal Lepel
Charnos continue to celebrate their 50th Anniversary
in autumn/winter 08 with a bridal collection inspired
by treasured moments, romance and enchanting
fairytales. The modern yet timeless Eve collection
provides the answer to every bride’s dream with sexy,
practical, and pretty lingerie that looks every bit as
fabulous as it feels. The ivory colourway brings an
understated vintage glamour to the collection, whilst
the stylish Swiss embroidery combined with silk
touch microﬁbre creates a range which is perfect for
bridal wear. This ultra feminine range includes full
cup and multi-way bras, a basque, French brief, thong
and suspender belt. Access www.charnos.co.uk or
telephone +44 (0)115 850 8000 for more details.
Penrose, the ﬁrst Italian designer of an exclusively
bridal lingerie collection, is now available in the UK
through White Mischief Bridal. Penrose creations
are designed to enhance the natural beauty of the
bride’s silhouette. Items such as soft bodies, corsets,
bras, slips, and hosiery are made from precious fabrics
and styled by exquisite tailoring in sophisticated Lepel understands a bride’s desire to feel conﬁdent, detachable suspenders, a strapless bra available up to
white, ivory, neutral, and black colours. This season stylish, and captivating on her wedding day and has a DD cup priced at £20, and an underwired plunge
has seen the introduction of seductive transparencies designed three stunning bridal collections focusing on bra available up to an E cup at the same price. Each
created by twice folded tulle, as well as the ‘Exclusive simple sophistication this season. The delightful Pearl style has accompanying co-ordinates in the form of
Collection’, which includes a range of truly seamless collection creates a truly classic look, with a mix of a suspender short that costs £14 available in sizes S
undergarments made with state of the art techniques. soft ivory satin, delicate embroidered mesh, and pretty to XL, and string available in sizes S – L priced at
For further information contact White Mischief pearl bead detailing. This range is oﬀered in a choice £8. Telephone +44 (0)115 983 6000 to ﬁnd out more
Bridal on +44 (0)1903 810 104. of three styles; a ﬁgure ﬂattering basque available about the range.
up to a DD cup priced at £30 with the option of
‘Be cherished forever and ever in Bjem Bridal Lingerie’
Bjem Bride’s beautiful collection of speciality, luxury lingerie designed
speciﬁcally for today’s modern bride. Sumptuous silk satins in a pallette
of ivory, blush pink and aqua blue are complemented with exclusive
sequinned embroidery, swarovski crystal embellishment and unique
jewellery trims. A bespoke service is available on personalised
crystal messages and designs for no extra cost.
Bjem bridal lingerie is available for immediate delivery.Wholesale prices
start from £8 and sizes are available from 8 to 20 and 30 to 38 A to E.
Bjem Bridal Lingerie
This romantic torselette from
Carnival Lingerie is available
through specialist bridal
distributor Jupon Ltd, and
features a cleverly shaped
structure that is perfect for
creating a highly desirable, well
deﬁned waist. The sensational
strapless style is made from
luxurious, soft lace with a deep
decollete and low back to be
both sensual and practical for
brides that have chosen popular,
close ﬁtting gowns. Visit www.
jupon.com or ring +44 (0)1753
622 922 for further information.
Benmark Foundations Ltd is a family business that has been importing
lingerie from the U.S. for 60 years, and count leading manufacturer
Dominique as an exclusive supplier of quality bridal underwear. With
great support and fantastic ﬁt, the Dominique Bridal range includes
basques, strapless bras, longline bras, a seamless bustier with a hidden
wire and matching briefs and thong to complete the look.
This season Benmark have introduced a new full ﬁgure basque,
Dominique style 8900, in an ivory tone complemented by feminine
embroidery on a ﬁne background. The basque has a fantastic size range
from B to F cup in back sizes 32 to 48, with matching thongs and a brief
design also available. Look out for a new strapless underwired bra with
a boned cup up to a size G in the same range. Call +44 (0)208 908 2690
for more details.
HONEYMOON bra with seamed-cup details and coordinating deep
Bjem Bride’s beautiful collection of speciality, luxury thong. For further details call +44 (0)114 241 8888 or
lingerie has been designed speciﬁcally for the modern access www.panache-lingerie.com.
bride. Sumptuous silk satins in a feminine palette
of ivory, blush pink, and aqua are complemented Diamon’T’s Pure Lingerie collection is an adorable
eﬀortlessly with embroidery, sequins, Swarovski and aﬀordable range including luxury lace garters,
crystals and jewellery trims. satin and mesh thongs, and a beautiful babydoll set in
This small company is able to create individual black or ivory chiﬀon adorned with the words ‘Mrs’ Eternal Spirits
designs to ﬁt customers’ needs by adding any message or ‘Just Married’, presented in a tissue lined gift box
or design to their products, which have been made and perfect for the wedding night. The personalised
from the quality fabric with great attention to detail service Diamon’T introduced from its inception
in many diﬀerent shapes and colours to ﬁt under remains extremely popular, and allows customers to
any gown. Some of Bjem’s bestselling lines are the have any item from the collection decorated by hand
ivory silk bodice and ‘just married’ Swarovski crystal with the message or name of their choice in diamanté
message briefs, as well as the classic embroidered rhinestones, with prices starting from RRP £19.99.
narrow garter with sequins. New products include To order a catalogue visit www.diamon-t.com or
a smoothline bodice and blue and pink Swarovski telephone +44 (0)845 330 2366.
crystal garters, and wholesale prices start at £6 with
bespoke items available at no extra charge. Visit the Award-winning company Eternal Spirits are one
handy website at www.bjembride.co.uk or telephone of the UK’s most talked about corsetry specialists,
+44 (0)7932 794 398 for more information. oﬀering a unique range of traditionally made,
handcrafted corsetry, lingerie and bridal wear in
Succinctly in line with the company ethos of ‘Love their exclusive Bridal Parlour. La Belle Epoque is
The Fit’ and available in D-H cup sizes without the company’s decadent autumn/winter story, and is
forsaking comfort and style, Panache have launched inﬂuenced by the elegance of Paris and Edwardian
four fabulous new bridal styles this season. Hestia is England. The rich colour palette of the collection
an exquisite silk bridal story in classic ivory or sultry is derived from peacock feathers, where metallic
black using guipure embroidery trim with delicate gold, bronze, and chocolate meet jewel tones such
organza and pearl bows. The stunning structured as emerald and violet in designs adorned with pearls
basque features traditional satin lacing and is made of and Swarovski crystals. Luxurious silks, leathers,
smooth satin with delicate detail across the top of the and traditional wools combine classic tailoring and
cups and straps. Thong briefs again match the design conceptual design for an original and glamorous
with pretty yet simple detailing, and a Hestia twin-set bridal aesthetic. For details call +44 (0)7789 281 159
is also available featuring a smooth, padded balconnet or access www.eternalspirits.com. A
Fa liab e
Re ervic Help your bride choose the best fabrics
for her bridal party. The Carrington Bride
book is a beautifully presented collection
of stunning, quality fabrics brought
together in one indispensable volume.
The fabric of a great wedding…
…starts with a great dress
Place your order 24/7
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To order your copy
call 01204 692223 or visit
To advertise here call Mark White Michael’s Bridal Fabrics
Unit F15, Northﬂeet Indst Est, Lower Road, Northﬂeet, Kent DA11 9SW
on +44 (0)1376 514 000 Tel: 01322 380480/568 FAX: 01322 380680
or visit www.attirebridal.com We offer a fast, reliable and friendly service on our continually increasing range
(currently over 1,500 choices) of bridal fabrics.
All fabrics and trimmings are available in cut lengths via our 6 sample books.
Range includes: plain and shot taffeta, velvet, duchess satins, organzas, shimmer,
chiffons, crepes, various embroidered and beaded fabrics, inc tulles and chiffons.
We also offer a range of embroided/beaded edgings and motifs.
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Specialists in the Art Of Dyeing Shoes
Unique sophistication, dazzling design,
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Prices for highly structured Bodices
start from £45 and Gowns for £95.
Call Duncan: 0845 490 0209
Award-winning bridal retailer, Abigail Neill, discusses her recent
buying trip to Madrid, and talks tactics for sourcing stock from
The British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate
The radio alarm clock fashionable/alterable dress? What’s the margin? Does
interrupted my cosy it ﬁll a gap? Do ‘I’ really like it?… Oh God the list is
sleep at 5am. My full endless. If I consider Pareto’s rule; 80% of my sales
time Sales Assistant will result from 20% of my stock so the reality is that
Lauren and I had all of that jotting and analysing is probably wasted
a ﬂight to catch to eﬀort. Maybe I should shift focus onto what I simply
Madrid. We were oﬀ on ‘love’ and enjoy the buying process a little more?
our ﬁrst international Despite the over analysis, my buying conﬁdence has
buying trip and had grown. I’m still relatively strict about sample spend
been invited to the and it seems to have stood me in good stead. Much
launch of the 2008 to the annoyance of my suppliers I avoid making
San Patrick collection. Despite the early start I was buying decisions until after a show. It is tempting to
looking forward to a little sunshine, tapas in Plaza get carried away and it was certainly a temptation the
Mayor, a few vinos and, of course, the fabulous ﬁrst time I visited Harrogate where I met business
catwalk shows. owners who start with a budget and then spend twice
Lauren was due to arrive at my house at 6am for a the amount on day one! It’s easily done and I too am
timely and civilised departure so I had a whole hour like a girl in a sweetie store. I get really excited about
to throw together my bags, enjoy a quick shower and new styles, colours and fabric options and whilst I
grab a coﬀee. Then, the village church bell struck six. don’t have a fashion PhD, I know what I like and
Yes, six! Not ‘ﬁve’ as per the luminous ‘5.00am’ on the I know what my brides like. They are probably the
alarm clock but ‘six’. Oh dear, or words to that eﬀect. most important buying factors that I should consider.
It wasn’t 5am at all. It was 6am and foolishly I had Comically I have brought one or two dresses that
forgotten to put the clocks forward! The door bell have been such a disaster they’ve been relegated to
rang, I froze - it was Lauren. Leaping up and whilst a cupboard. A lightweight v-neck a-line dress (great
disturbing my husband with several expletives I raced shape) which featured the occasional and randomly
downstairs, tripped over the dog and answered the stitched coloured tulle bow (bad detail). Before
door in my nightdress – not the best attire for such cupboard relegation I used it with customers to break
an occasion. And if the scary welcome at our front the ice as a ‘what not to wear’ example. Brides laughed
door wasn’t enough for poor Lauren, after frantically out loud and their mums often said that there would
packing, I then drove at excessive speeds to Gatwick be a bride out there somewhere that would love it.
in order to catch our ﬂight. Well, she’s not in Essex and I am still looking.
Despite being tired from a morning of frenzied Like many retailers occasionally I ﬁnd the
travel, the buying trip was a great success… subject of ‘minimums’ frustrating. On the other
Under the glare of blinding spot lights we sat hand I understand why designers require a good
poised and watched as six stunning Spanish models representative of styles in-store. Stock rotation can
paraded 100 of the latest bridal gowns. The dresses be demanding - it’s another business challenge and I
were exquisite. I loved so many but like other retailers suppose it keeps me on my business toes.
I am restricted by space and budget. I suspect that BBEH is round the corner and, as usual, I’ll be
with regards to buying I probably labour more than looking for fresh new styles and accessories for
most. As a relatively young business I take the subject our collection. I hope to ﬁnd time to pop into my
seriously, perhaps too seriously. Annoyingly for many favourite boutique and visit Betty’s for afternoon
of my suppliers I have the same approach when I visit tea. I expect the start of the trip to be more civilised Further information
BBEH. Armed with pads, pens, cameras and post than the Madrid adventure – I know that the clocks Abigail Neill runs Abigail’s Collction,
it notes, I relentlessly jot away, coding design lists aren’t scheduled to change and after discussing the based in Colchester, Essex.
with a series of ticks and crosses whilst asking myself embarrassing door greeting situation with Lauren Tel: +44 (0)1206 574 575
a myriad of questions … Will the design appeal to (who politely described me as ‘unrecognisable’) I have www.abigailscollection.co.uk
my brides? Will it repeat? Is it a wearable/ﬂattering/ brought a new nightdress! A
ALL THE ANSWERS
Expert advice from Jane Watson and Beth Scott
Adding a new supplier Opportunities for
out the competition and ask yourself why customers
will want to purchase their goods from you and not
However, if you have a fantastic sales record, are
taking a good wage and making really good proﬁts
Q I have been running my bridal shop for two
years and receive regular calls from agents
keen to show me their bridal collections. So far I
then go for it.
stock four diﬀerent designers, and am considering
taking on a ﬁfth. As I found my existing suppliers
Q The opportunity has just come up to
purchase the retail premises next to my
existing shop, which would allow me to diversify my
at a bridal trade show, I’ve never dealt with an agent
in-store oﬀering. At present I only sell bridal attire
before and am not sure if this is the best way to
and accessories, but I’ve been considering expanding
source new lines. What is your opinion? Any advice
would be gratefully received.
into formalwear or mother of the bride outﬁts.What
would you recommend? I’d be interested in hearing Q I’ve heard people talking about hackers and
site attacks – what are the possible risks to
your thoughts about the merits/drawbacks of each.
A Jane Watson says: First I would consider
carefully if you really need another supplier,
bearing in mind that you need to buy new samples
from all your suppliers each season. Having ﬁve A Jane Watson says: I would check out my
current overheads, plus the new premises, as A Beth Scott says: There are two principal risks
your website faces: hacking and denial of
suppliers each wanting you to order a minimum of 12 you may need additional staﬀ.
I ﬁnd that a very high percentage of retailers do not The ﬁrst of these – hacking – is where someone
to 18 new gowns through the year could be as many
know what their every day running costs are. gains unauthorised access to your site and makes
as 50 or 75 new samples possibly creating a situation
This is a very important part of planning. When changes. These changes may merely be cosmetic
of too many samples and a very big sale rail.
you know what your costs are, multiply the costs to vandalism or they may be for fraudulent purposes.
My answer to the second part of your question
see what weekly sales you need to cover costs of both Vandalism is a serious problem in that no business
is if you have not seen the collection at the bridal
premises and make proﬁts. For example, are you as the wants someone changing their public face, especially
trade show the agent may visit with a presentation of
proprietor having a monthly wage? Taking on more if it involves abusive text or oﬀensive images. Indeed,
photographs. If this is the situation when the agent
responsibility without payment is not a good idea. there is also a knock-on eﬀect whereby potential
visits your showrooms why not ask to see some of the
If there is a demand for a Mother of the Bride customers are less likely to trust a site that has obvious
gowns so you can check out the quality.
collection check out the local competition and try to security ﬂaws.
Ask about minimum orders required, delivery and
ensure your collection is diﬀerent to your competitors. The more worrying instance of hacking involves
what is expected of you by the supplier. How close
Men’s formal wear is normally easy as I understand unauthorised access to the site in order to compromise
are other stockists with this collection? Alternatively,
the suppliers will help with samples for window the site security – this may allow the hacker to access
make an appointment to see the complete collection
displays as stock is not always needed. Again, check either your business information or your customers’
at the trade show.
Jane Watson has over 30
years experience in bridal
retail, selling dresses to brides
and supplying shops with Eva
Jordan Couture Bridal and
Samantha Jane Collection
Bridesmaids and Proms.
Beth Scott answers your In response to retailer
questions on behalf of Loud- demand, seven years ago she
n-Clear.com Ltd, a ﬁrm that launched a consultancy ﬁrm,
has been making websites for ‘Starting a Bridal Business’,
over a decade, specialising to advise new and existing
in e-commerce sites for bridal retailers on all aspects
independent businesses. of running a successful shop.
Protect your interests
ﬁnancial details. These details could then be used for paper next to your computer – a sticky note may be
fraudulent purchases on other sites etc. tempting idea but it allows anyone who can get to
As a business, there is not much you can do to your computer to get to your website, bank account
protect against hacking but your hosting service and email.
should be taking the relevant precautions. In addition,
there are services such as “Hackersafe” which, for a
Q I’m now aware of the risks posed to my
business by hackers and site attacks. But
what should I be doing to keep myself safe online?
Another method of gaining access to details online
(eBay, PayPal and online banking have real problems
monthly fee, check your website on a regular basis, with it) is the “phishing” e-mail. This normally takes
highlighting potential vulnerabilities as they are the form of an e-mail, apparently from eBay (or
detected. On an individual level you should take good
care not to introduce possible openings into the site
A Beth Scott says: This falls into two areas:
ﬁrstly, safeguarding your computer and
secondly, protecting your personal details.
PayPal or whoever), informing you of some problem
with your account and asking you to log in. If you log
yourself To safeguard your computer, you should be running in by clicking on the link in the e-mail then you will
– further details are in the question below. anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, a ﬁrewall be logged in - but it will have been via another site
The other risk is a distributed denial of service and if you have a Windows computer (as most of that will have captured your username and password.
(DDOS) attack – this is where the attacker ﬂoods you will have) it should have the latest patches and While it is sometimes easy to spot a “phishing”
your host with a huge number of users simultaneously security updates. It’s probably safest to conﬁgure all e-mail (poor spelling or grammar are the obvious
to overload the server, thus preventing any other users these things to keep themselves updated automatically. giveaways),the surest way to avoid getting caught is
gaining access to the site. To arrange a large number To protect your personal details, set your computer never to click on the link in an e-mail but to type in
of simultaneous users normally requires the use of up so that it needs a password to access it, even if it is the website address yourself. A
hijacked (usually by a virus) computers. There is little your personal machine and only used at home. Your
that you can do to prevent such an attack but they house could be burgled and without a password the
tend to be made against high-proﬁle websites, as there burglar can easily get into your address book, ﬁnd
is a fair amount of eﬀort and planning necessary. your banking details etc. Whenever you’ve logged
Again, your hosting company should be active in into something (be it updating your website, checking
detecting and stopping DDOS attacks. orders or online banking), be sure to log out once
These risks sound (and are) serious, but as long as If you have a question about any aspect of your
you’ve ﬁnished what you were doing. It’s not a good
your website host takes the appropriate care and you business, simply write to Q&A Special, Attire
idea to use the same password for everything and
take care of your personal data security (see the next Bridal magazine, Broseley House, Newlands
neither is it a good idea to use obvious passwords
answer for some pointers) the risk of your website Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2UL. Alternatively,
such as dates of birth and children’s names. You also
being hacked into is quite low. send your queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
don’t want to keep all your passwords on a piece of
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www.attirebridal.com. Containing up-to-the-minute news, events and special oﬀers,
the site is updated regularly with information to help you build your business.
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the supplier directory, allows you to contact
advertisers in the magazine for more information
about their products and services. Simple to use
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supplier directory is a reader reply service for the
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It’s the big one!
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ATTIRE Bridal Plus
ISSUE 7 Industry News Expert Advice
Available from: 22nd August 2008 Retailer Interview
Advertising deadline: 8th August 2008
Custom-made career Nuala Tivnan opened her self-named bespoke bridal and occasion gown shop earlier
this year. She has been inundated with orders since, so we spoke to her about her
business and the somewhat unconventional design roles she had previously held…
Nuala Tivnan’s many
talents are endless.
Not only is she owner
and director of Nuala’s
Bespoke Gowns in
Braintree, Essex, but
she is also the designer, pattern cutter, dressmaker,
tailor, body mapping and colour consultant and
quality controller for the business.
“My skills go way back to my Great
Grandmother,” Nuala explains.
“I learned to crochet, knit, embroider and sew.
My Mum got me a job sewing when I was 16 and
from there I progressed to make my own wedding
gown, as well as many for family and friends.”
“I worked for Daniel Poole as a supervisor and
both Nicole Farhi and French Connection as a
quality controller. I also worked for a rave gear
company and a bridal shop for almost eight years!”
Inspired by her husband to open her own store,
Nuala wisely began by purchasing and designing
her website in October 2006, then opened her store
in February 2008.
“My dream had become reality!,” she remembers.
We found out more… and haberdashery industry, both in England and motorbike sites regularly, but he enjoyed building it
abroad, so I source my materials from there. and said it was a challenge! I love it!
How did you decide on the location of your store?
I had moved to Braintree from London and seen How have customers responded to your bridal If you could design a gown for someone in the
the shop in August 2006, but I put it to the back of collection? public eye, who would it be and why?
my mind, as I was busy with other commitments. So far, I’ve seen many a happy face, made their I would love to have designed a gown for Princess
My daughter, Kelly-Marie, then came home dreams come true, and received recommendations Diana, her elegance and grace would have carried
with a brochure for that same shop, which was now as a result. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting oﬀ my dress to perfection. Sadly she is no longer
empty and I decided it was destiny! I loved the size some really fantastic people. with us. In complete contrast, I would also like
and layout of the shop and the location was perfect. to design for Pamela Anderson, because she’s all
There was a need for my skills in the town and I How do you promote your business? woman and my husband thinks she is sexy! He
could fulﬁl my life-long ambition to design and I attend local wedding fairs, advertise in local would love to teach her how to ride a motorbike.
make dress for weddings and special occasions. papers and magazines as well as using everything For once he’d be lost for words!
Opening the store also gave me the opportunity from the Internet, to friends of friends to the
to work with my daughter, as she makes tiaras, Yellow Pages and the local church to promote my What do you most enjoy about your role?
fascinators and does all the embellishments on the business. Meeting people, sharing their experience on
dresses. I have recently taught her all my skills and their special day and making them look and feel
she now helps to make the dresses too, she’s a gem! Are you hoping to stay as the sole trader for your beautiful and happy. I simply enjoy the whole
gowns, or will you be sourcing stockists? process, from the design, to choosing the fabrics, to
Tell us a little about the style of gowns that you I make all my own gowns, so at the moment I’m the ﬁnal stage. The most satisfying part is to see a
design and produce… not sourcing stockists, but you never know, if customer’s face at the ﬁnal ﬁtting in their gown. It
They are unique, bespoke gowns designed and someone approaches me, maybe! makes me tingle when I see their excitement and
made to the highest standard possible. Each style is delight. A
entirely diﬀerent. Who designed your website?
My website, www.nualas.co.uk, was designed by
For more information on Nuala’s Bespoke
Where do you source materials? a friend, Jon, from UK Biker. It was completely
Gowns, call +44 (0)1376 560 730 or visit
I have many contacts and friends in the fabric diﬀerent from his normal designs, as he works with
Enquiries: 0208 801 9797 E-mail: email@example.com