Influencing an Industry: A Peek Inside The Life of a Bridal Buyer with Stanley Korshak
From runway shows to one-on-one meetings, the life of a bridal buyer is a whirlwind of travels, decisions and trend setting. But just how much influence does a bridal buyer have on the looks that make it from the runway to the store? Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon’s buyer Christina Plumlee has met with the top designers in the bridal fashion world, and we’ve tapped some of these designers to share their bridal buyer influence.
A Curator of Art
“I am humbled each time a designer asks my opinion,” Christina shares. “They are the creative force and I am merely a curator of their art. I have had the good fortune to work with well known designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Ines di Santo, Amsale, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, Romona Keveza, Galia Lahav, Anne Barge and many others that are emerging stars such as Gracy Accad, Sareh Nouri, Mark Zunino, Maria Farbinni and Pedram Couture. The most rewarding part is that I build amazing working relationships that often turn in to true friendships. Being a buyer is not just selecting gowns for a store; it is all about relationships. Having relationships with not just the designers but their teams, other retailers and the press is a huge part of the process. Finding the next big thing is often a whisper in my ear from someone who saw them and thinks I need to go take a look. No one is successful on their own!”
Below, Christina takes a few moments to pause for photos with her friends in the industry, Anne Barge, Reem Acra and Monique Lhuillier:
“Buyers are always keeping up with the trends; their feedback is invaluable to designers. If someone like Christina mentions something she is looking for, we know it is important,” says Catherine Schiffer of Park 108 Sales.
Influence on the Up-and-Coming
It’s important to note how much influence people like Christina have on the success of wedding designers just breaking onto the scene. Group 868 Inc. owner Ivan Meza says: “Buyers can make or break a designer. For an emerging designer to get key buyers behind them makes their entry into the marketplace much faster. Buyers have to be willing to try new things and adapt to the marketplace quickly. Christina is very much among a small group that is always willing to look at new designers.”
Christina works frequently with women like Kim Click and Amsale Aberra (left), Galia Lahav and Stanley Korshak Owner Mackenzie Brittingham (center) and designer Sareh Nouri (right). Says Neil Brown, owner of Amsale: “Christina Plumlee has unparalleled experience and an exceptionally high taste level as a couture fashion buyer for one of the nation’s most prestigious retailers.”
Leeann David, of Galia Lahav House of Couture, says this of Christina: “It is important to have a strong relationship with your buyers; they are the ones determining the next big thing. Christina has worked with us for years and we are so loyal to her just as she is loyal to us, and we respect that!”
Acting As a Liaison
Designer Sareh Nouri says, “Christina is not only a knowledgeable buyer but she is open to and gives opportunity to new designers. She is also well aware of the difference between creative and sellable fashion.” To many, buyers like Christina are seen as a liaison between the designers and the brides they’re designing for. “Christina has the unique job of editing and collaborating with a designer. She brings the wants and concerns of the brides and hopes to buy within the demands she’s observed,” says designer Mark Zunino.
Christina’s career goes far beyond picking out her favorite styles for Stanley Korshak to order for their bridal salon. She’s in frequent contact with the designers themselves, letting them know what brides are looking for, relaying ideas and sparking new trends in the industry. North Texas brides are so lucky to have someone like Christina in their corner! You can shop many of Christina’s picks from powerhouse designers as well as up-and-coming names at the Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon.
We were so sad when April’s New York Bridal Week was canceled this season. Otherwise we would be live at designer runway shows and meetings, bringing you all the BTS via our Insta Stories. We’ll be sharing new looks from the Fall 2020 collections as designers give us the scoop, and our fingers are crossed to be back in NYC come October for the next Bridal Market. Stay tuned!