Despite the recession and economic crunches, one industry that continues to prosper and expand is the wedding business. The same holds true for the market for bridal wear and wedding dresses. This unique market category already has dedicated fashion shows and definite trends every year to cater to the growing demand globally. The international market for bridal wear is estimated to reach 56.5 billion US dollars by 2015 and is highly dominated by millenials, preferring more contemporary designs and looks.
Conventionally the young girls married in their early twenties leaving no choice but to stick to the budget dispensed by their parents for wedding wear. But with changing lifestyles, today's modern women marry late and have a big budget for their special wedding dress. Moreover, consumers want their wedding dresses to be unique and have an individualistic touch to it for their special day.
For a very long time the market for bridal wear remained restricted to the high-heeled and affluent. But with increasing middle class incomes and couples choosing to tie the knot only when they are financially stable to hold a wedding, the consumer base for bridal wear has widened. The US and Europe are pre-dominantly the largest markets for bridal wear and also are places that dictate and give rise to bridal fashion trends for the rest of the world to embrace. The wedding gowns market in the US alone is estimated to be worth close to $ 7.7 billion each year. Japan also witnesses a sizable market for wedding wear, but relatively small in comparison to its western counterparts. In the European region, the demand for bridal clothes is increasing in countries like United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and France.
Traditionally bridal wear was reserved to small boutiques and to designers exclusively designing wedding clothes for the elite. But with time, many fashion designers have taken up to creating full-fledged wedding collections, and high-end fashion labels have begun producing bridal wear not just for the rich and famous, but also made it more affordable for young consumers. The bridal fashion however, is not affected by the latest fads and cutting edge styles; it manages to remain timeless and reflects more classic trends seen over a period of time. Hence for fashion designers shifting from ready to wear to wedding wear there are not many risks involved.
Many ready to wear brands have seized the opportunity and created bridal wear collection in the recent years. Designer brands like Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin, Mathew Williamson, and Giambattista Valli have gotten into creating bridal lines. Chain of fashion stores like J. Crew, Macy's, David's Bridal, Harrods, and Bloomingdale's also have exclusive bridal collections. Many premium brands and fashion e-stores also offer the facility to buy bridal wear online. Net-a-porter, a premium fashion online site, reports to have shipped bridal wear to more than 65 countries.
It also offers the facility of availing a dress or a gown in white or cream shades of the same style for brides who do not have time to go through fittings and the trial room norms. The economic slump of 2009 also stirred the trend of buying second hand bridal gowns and bridal wear available on rent. The pre-owned bridal wear market is very well curated and one can find gowns by designer labels like Vera Wang and Jenny Packhams.