Like many things recently, New York Bridal Fashion Week – Spring 2021 was put on hold or well, eventually, cancelled. Twice a year, designers, buyers and visionaries come together to see the intricate work of many designers in the bridal industry. These designers are putting together collections for a woman’s most proud day on display. A day when she can walk down the aisle, see the love of her life, all while feeling the best she has ever looked. This is their chance to put all the hours of hard work to play and showcase their finest.
We have a personal connection to these times because we ourselves love the excitement, the thrill and all of the beauty that is embraced. Not to mention, we attend ourselves. The energy, the excitement, and the passion is felt the second you touch down in New York let alone the studio of the shows.
We had to ask. We had to find out and we had to explore what in the world is going through the minds of many of these designers. While many, like Berta for instance, are still wondering the what they should do, others have began to put a plan in place.
We spoke with Anne Barge’s Creative Director and President – Shawne Jacobs to ask her a few questions relating to the show this past Spring.
Can you tell us how you approached the Spring 2021 release with the transition that is going on in the country right now? What was the driving factor to make your decision to release your line (or) postpone until the Fall Collection release?
When we first learned that April Bridal Market had been cancelled, we immediately shifted gears to planning a virtual market for our retailers and media partners. We were super excited about this however, as the virus continued to spread and our stores were forced to close, we knew the last thing they needed was to invest in a new collection. All of our retailers are very worried about cash flow coming in during this time! With shelter-in-place restrictions becoming stricter it quickly became apparent to me that it was going to be very difficult to shoot the new Spring 2021 collection.
We brainstormed many ways to shoot a few key looks, including sending pieces to New York and having a model/photographer who were quarantined together shoot everything on their rooftop and apartment studio. After much thought, we decided there were too many unknown variables of shooting the collection without physically being present. This money would be better used towards our payroll. After all, our company is nothing without our employees. These factors led us to the ultimate decision of waiting to show Spring 2021 with our new Fall 2021 collection during October Bridal Market. We are planning something super special for the Fall.
What can we expect for the Fall release? Will there be more to see or will you stick to the same amount of dresses that you typically show?
Editors and retailers can expect to see both the Spring 2021 and the Fall 2021 collection at October Bridal Market. With the future of large events and gatherings still uncertain, we need to be prepared for every scenario possible. I think that video and photo assets will be most important to have ready, so we need to start planning now. No matter what happens, we want our retailers and press to have the ability to view the new pieces even if it cannot happen in person.
What are you currently working on now knowing the limitations of production, models and photographers?
Currently, we are continuing to design, produce and ship gowns as usual, just from the comfort of our own homes. Right now, at Anne Barge we are focusing on our relationships with our brides and everyone in the industry. It is extremely important that we all support each other during these unprecedented times. Our company has implemented various initiatives surrounding COVID-19 relief such as our Health Hero Program, which offers a 20% discount on all wedding gowns for healthcare works who purchase an Anne Barge gown at one of the participating retailers. We have also started Wedding Wine Wednesday which is a weekly Zoom meeting with our retailers to discuss concerns the industry is facing. Lastly, in an effort to stay connected with our customers and brides-to-be in a time where we are unable to leave our homes, we have introduced virtual bridal appointments!
Check out some Anne Barge photos from New York Bridal Fashion Week, Fall 2020!