BHLDN has been saying I Do to cool brides since 2011.
Created as an offshoot from parent company Urban Outfitters and sister company Anthropologie, BHLDN has made a name for itself with the next generation of brides who want less traditional styling–or at least less traditional attitude–for that beach, vineyard or mountaintop wedding. The site even has Bohemian Shop and Beach Wedding links to help put brides into the mood and moment. Bridal runway trends factor in strongly, of course, but so do ready-to-wear boho trends like bell sleeves or crochet lace.
Accessories caught up with BHLDN stylists Lindsey Love and Carolyn Barrett to see how they’re helping brides walk down the aisle (or stretch of sand) in style for 2018.
BHLDN is a mix of a robust online business and brick and mortar stores for a more intimate salon experience. Do you find that BHLDN’s in-store customer is different than the online customer?
There are BHLDN brides all around the world! Those who are close to one of our shops tend to start their search with an in-store appointment but BHLDN is accessible to brides everywhere by shopping right on our website. We are here to help brides every step of the way from choosing her gown and finding her perfect fit to completing the look with just the right accessories.
How would you define the BHLDN girl?
The BHLDN bride wants to be comfortable on her big day, feel like herself and, above all, look effortlessly beautiful. She wants a unique yet timeless gown that enhances her personal style through thoughtful details.
What’s changed with BHLDN since the brand first launched? Is there a category or trend you’re selling now that you never thought you’d be selling?
Our roots in fashion-forward bridal attire with vintage touches and special details are as relevant today as ever. With a collection that’s ready to wear and good to go, we are able to read what our bride is responding to and offer her even more of what she loves – from the bride who is classically inspired to one that is trend driven, we’ve got her covered. Our collection has evolved from its bride-centric beginning – we now offer accessories for the groom and groomsmen with an exclusive collection of ties and accoutrements.
Spring 2018 Preview
What’s trending now in location weddings? How does that affect your merchandise buys/development?
Our gowns are photographed in exotic locations around the world. This year alone, they have been featured in Italy, Morocco, Mexico, Chile, California, and Utah. These otherworldly locales inspire brides planning destination weddings. With easily packable gowns readily available in the BHLDN Collection, brides are prepared to jet off to their seaside soiree or mountaintop elopement at a moment’s notice.
You are a bridal destination, but is there more competition now from non-bridal stores? For example, with crystals, lace and pearls trending in ready to wear, are some brides shopping mass retailers instead of bridal-specific brands? Or do they still want the “bridal store” experience?
With a shift toward less traditional gowns, brides have more options than ever when it comes to shopping for their big day. However, the BHLDN bride still finds value in preserving the magic of this once in a lifetime occasion. While traditionally only offered in bridal salons, our elevated in-store appointment experience carries through to brides around the world with our online styling service.
With vintage trending in fashion and accessories, does BHLDN sell any actual vintage accessories?
Though our current collection does not include any vintage pieces, much of our assortment nods to times past. The BHLDN bride loves thoughtful details like enamel flowers on her headpiece or deco-inspired earrings to add a touch of sparkle. She is in search of heirloom-quality pieces to pass down for generations to come.
Is white outdated with the new bride? What are the hot trends you’re seeing in dresses now?
White gowns tend to be a bit more traditional. The BHLDN bride has a unique personal style that flows through her look for the big day. She is most drawn to our gowns in ivory, pale blush, and even muted grey! For Spring 2018, we are excited about the return of the classic ballgown silhouette as well as sleek modern styles with clean lines. Ballgowns are known for their voluminous full skirts. To balance proportions, we suggest adding interest to the top half of the look by layering on a headpiece and veil.
And in accessories?
Modern gowns act as the perfect canvas for accessorizing. We love to pair these styles with a single statement like show-stopping chandelier earrings or luxurious layered necklaces.
Does BHLDN do kitsch at all? Like thongs or sleep masks that say Wifey or Bride for the honeymoon?
Although we don’t position ourselves as a “kitsch” retailer, we do carry our Mrs. Knickers which have been a big hit over the years.
How much do you engage with your girls on Instagram?
We typically engage with her between two and three times a day on Instagram, sharing everything from creative imagery to aspirational photos and, most often, real BHLDN brides. She loves to see how other girls have worn our gowns and incorporated our bridesmaids dresses, accessories and décor into her big day. It’s definitely become one of our most effective channels for gauging her interests and using that information to further refine our unique assortment.