Manila, Philippines – All brides want to feel extra special on their big day. Some decide to splurge on the designer wedding dresses of their dreams, while other brides prefer to cut costs and not have to spend thousands of dollars on a dress they’ll only wear once. time. If you’re one of the latter (and frustrated by the lack of affordable ready-to-wear options), you’re in luck – now you have the opportunity to rent the designer dress of your dreams through the local store The Bridefolio.
At Bridefolio, it’s all about making ‘sustainability beautiful’ in an industry where fast fashion is also rampant. Bridefolio co-owner JK Kong told Rappler that their advocacy for promoting slow, focused fashion was inspired by dress rental services already operating in other countries. Why not give Filipina brides the same opportunity, while maintaining the quality and expertise that comes with designer dresses?
The Bridefolio is an online ordering platform and portfolio of a “carefully selected collection” of wedding dresses by local and international designers, each available to rent or buy.
“We work directly with all of the local designers featured on The Bridefolio, so it’s really become a partnership where we make their designs available to those who prefer to rent,” Kong said.
Here comes the bride team…
For many brides, it might be easier to trust a brand made up of people who truly understand you – your struggles, your experiences, your wants and your needs – and the team at Bridefolio is fortunately made up of women who also already been brides, bridesmaids, and the wedding guests themselves.
“We understand brides-to-be from different angles and want to help them feel their best on their wedding day. Along with marrying the man of their dreams, how they look as they walk down the aisle is the next thing that should excite them, and nothing less than that,” Kong said.
Bridefolio came to life after the “turning point” of Kong, who accompanied his future friend to a bridal shop. Her friend had such a hard time choosing a dress because she wanted to “see more options”. Kong knew then that she wished she could do something about it.
“I knew so many friends overseas who had fun choosing their wedding dresses because they had so many choices. And those choices weren’t just in the selection, but whether they wanted to buy or rent” , she added.
At the heart of it all, giving Filipinos who are open to hiring more options in choosing their wedding dresses, while taking into account that different brides will have different preferences.
Giving Brides What They Deserve
Every bride is unique, and that’s one thing Bridefolio has made sure they never forget when curating their collection – currently they offer ready-to-wear dresses and also made-to-measure dresses in different designs and at different prices, especially as more brides have become even more aware of the costs of the pandemic.
In addition to taking note of each client’s style, preferences and budget, body size and shape also take priority. Bridefolio’s services include minor alterations that “help ensure the wedding dress fits perfectly,” whether you’re buying or renting. However, a few selected dresses have “extremely delicate material” and are for sale only.
“While we are still in our launch collection, the advantage of working directly with designers is that we can also adapt to the size needs of our customers,” Kong said.
How is the process going? A client must first book an appointment online with one of Bridefolio’s experienced stylists through the Bridefolio website. For security reasons, only virtual viewings and home fittings are permitted at this time. All home fittings come with a car service for dresses of the customer’s choice at a cost deductible from the price of the dress.
“Minor alterations and dry cleaning are included in the purchase or rental fee as part of our services,” Kong said.
On the website, each dress comes with a set of photos, the names of the dress and designer, a brief description of the dress, sizes, and whether it’s available for purchase upon request.
All about collaboration
Of course, Bridefolio wouldn’t be possible without the various local designers they partner with. Hands-on collaboration and good relationships, not only with their customers but also with their partners, are key to keeping a business afloat.
“We fully respect the creative process of the designers we partner with. We’re also lucky with the designers we partner with because they listen to our ideas, whether from our data or the stories of our friends and clients,” Kong said.
“We are thrilled to partner with designers, stylists and creatives who have the same forward-thinking vision.”
The Bridefolio has two categories on its website – long dresses and dresses. They work with a handful of renowned local and international designer names, such as Monique Lhuiller, Vania Romoff, Vera Wang, Lulu Tan-Gan, Anne Barge, Rosa Clara, Frankie de Leon, Edwin Tan, Studio L, Hayley Paige, Lazaro , Julianne Syjuco, Reem Acra, Sophia Lolli and many more.
“The feedback has been very encouraging and positive. While we thought it would be a niche market, it turns out there are a lot more people receptive to rentals than we originally thought, which makes this all really exciting,” Kong said. – Rappler.com