A pair of entrepreneurs are taking their love of classic styles to a new market, writes Diane Parkes
Something old takes on a new meaning with a Digbeth-based business selling vintage wedding dresses.
Luxe Bridal has been launched by two friends, Shelley Jukes and Becci Bradley who both have a love of vintage fashion and saw a gap in the market when it comes to styling the big day.
The women have sourced vintage dresses from across the country in all shapes, periods and sizes and have opened a fitting room in a unit at the Custard Factory in Gibb Street where brides-to-be can try on the gowns.
“We have both always loved vintage and are real vintage hoarders,” said Ms Jukes, 36, who grew up in Dudley and now lives in Stirchley. “Vintage has become really popular but there didn’t seem to be places offering wedding dresses.”
To be declared vintage, a dress needs to be more than 25 years old and the women have found fashions going back to the swinging sixties and beyond.
“I think what women like about vintage is that nobody else will be wearing that dress,” said Ms Jukes. “And they are really beautiful dresses. If you were to try and get one made new it would cost a lot of money as a lot of them would have been expensive at the time.”
And with a background as a dressmaker and seller of vintage style, Ms Jukes is able to carry out any alterations needed to ensure the gowns are made to measure.
With vintage style becoming increasingly popular and nostalgia fairs taking place across the country, Ms Jukes says it seemed the perfect time to launch Luxe Bridal.
“I think people like the idea of vintage. They like to know they have something special which no-one else has. And that becomes even more important when it comes to wedding dresses.
“People have ideas of what they want their wedding to be and very often the dress is the first thing they decide. Once they have chosen that they can go on to decide other elements of the day. So, as well as dresses we are also selling accessories to complete the look.”
Luxe Bridal was launched earlier this autumn and the response from customers has been positive.
“We did a lot of vintage bridal fairs and had a lot of interest,” said Ms Bradley, 38, of Dudley. “Some people wanted to take the dresses straight away because with a vintage dress it is the only one. Others called us afterwards and some have even been in touch having seen details of the fairs on the internet.
“We have taken calls from as far away as London. Women don’t mind travelling for a wedding dress, it is all part of the experience.
“Some women have a very definite idea of what they want but it is also lovely when they try something else on and change their mind. Each dress is so distinctive, it would be lovely to know the stories behind them.”
Having been open just a couple of months the women have yet to see any of their vintage brides head down the aisle.
“It could be a while yet as we have taken orders for 2013,” said Ms Bradley. “People really plan their weddings ahead. But we are looking forward to the dresses being worn and we hope they will send us some pictures we can put up so people can see how beautiful they look.”
The women are also keen to hear from anyone with vintage wedding dresses.