The Truth About Bridal Market: Insight from a Dallas Bridal Buyer
For DFW bridal boutiques and their buyers, Bridal Market Week is a cornerstone of their business and an eagerly anticipated highlight of their year! However, while Market/Fashion Week is often portrayed on Instagram and in the media a certain way, many bridal buyers will tell you the glitz and glamour is not all as it seems. We chatted with Christina Plumlee, bridal buyer for DFW’s Stanley Korshak Bridal boutique, to gain insight into what Bridal Market Week actually looks like for someone in the industry. Read more below to get an inside look into the most exciting times in bridal fashion – Christina’s answers may surprise you!
What are your main goals at Bridal Market? What is the main purpose of this “crunch time”?
The number one goal at Bridal Market is to select the gowns and accessories that I will buy for the upcoming season. This involves selecting from vendors we already work with as well as searching for new designers to add to our assortment.
What do most of the meetings generally entail?
Meetings allow me to “touch and feel” the gowns. I want to know how they are constructed, the weight of the garment, the detail of any embellishments. I am looking for quality and craftsmanship. This is also when I go over the pricing for the line and other details such as what changes can be made to each gown. Negotiations are done at this stage – how many gowns I will buy that season, any questions about design changes, trunk show plans for the next year and other business decisions. Meetings are essential and can be a time-consuming part of market.
What are you looking for when you attend shows?
Runway shows are the more glamorous and fun part of market. They are the first look at the new season. The designer’s inspiration and vision for the collection is revealed and the catwalk allows me to see how a gown moves when worn. I will begin the selection process at the show but never make decisions before I meet with the designer and inspect each gown.
Any other comments about misconceptions when it comes to fashion week, especially for someone in your position?
Most people who are looking from the outside see market week as all fun runway shows and parties. There is that aspect to market, but it is a very small part of what actually happens. The truth is that I will spend five to seven days with back-to-back meetings starting at 9am and going until 6pm then go straight to evening events that last until 10pm. I rarely stop for lunch, just having a quick snack during meetings. I very often end up walking to meetings because it is faster than a cab or Uber with all the traffic. I normally end up walking three to four miles a day because the meetings are all over NYC, not in a single location – one day I walked six miles this trip. Once I make it back to the hotel, I will go over the day’s meetings, make notes and prepare for the next day’s meetings. Yes, market is fun, but it is also more work than two normal weeks combined.
What are your favorite parts of market week? Why do you love it?
I love searching for the “next big thing.” I am always meeting new designers and on the lookout for something that I feel will appeal to our clients. I am a romantic at heart so I love curating beautiful things for brides. I also have a passion for business and enjoy the process of building relationships that benefit not only our salon, but the designers.
Special thanks to Christina for sharing her valuable insight into what really goes on at Bridal Market. Although it may not be all events, runway shows and parties, we still think this part of her career sounds incredibly interesting and fun! To see which lines Christina has picked for Stanley Korshak Bridal to carry, be sure to book an appointment so you can see the beautiful gowns in person. Take a look at their vendor profile for more information. Happy shopping!
Photo 1 courtesy of Amsale, Lisa Richov | Photo 2 courtesy of Marchesa | Photo 3 of Stanley Korshak Bridal buyer Christina Plumlee with designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa