Sunday, February 10, 2008

David's Bridal, Truths, Facts And What You Should Know Before You Buy

David's Bridal is a chain of 280 plus wedding shops.
In all good conscience, I can't call it a bridal salon.
It is a supermarket of dresses. They stock the same or
similar styles in dresses in many colors and sizes giving
the appearance of having a huge selection. Truth: You
have more choices and more options in a privately owned
full service bridal salon. Fact: David's provides immediate
gratification.

David's Bridal was known as David's Bridal Warehouse until
it changed its name to just David's Bridal. They sold overstock
and sample dresses. They branched into internet retailing
and were recently divested by Federated Department Stores.

Fact: David's Bridal manufacturers its own dresses. You can't find
their dresses anywhere else. Michaelangelo is their brand name.

Fact: Oleg Cassini is not designing dresses for David's.
He passed away at age 92 in 2006 after licensing his name
to David's. His period of fame was in the 1960's when he
designed for the first lady Jacquelin Kennedy. Cassini was
one of the first designers to license his name.

Monique Luo whose designs are sold at David's is NOT
Monique Lhuillier. Monique Lhuillier designs for celebrities
and makes exclusive couture gowns. There is a lot of name
confusion.

Truth: Monique Luo used to own her own bridal
manufacturing company and sold her designs to privately
owned bridal shops. She designed couture style dresses
and I carried them in my store until she closed her company
abruptly. None of us had any warning that the line was closing.
Even her sales reps were shocked at the news as we had just
previewed her line at the bridal market.
Shortly after, her partership with David's came about. Some
of the Monique Luo fashions that were available at David's
were the same styles we used to carry several years ago and
were done in lower quality of fabric at a higher price.
Rumor: David's wanted her factory.
Truth: Very few of her designs are now available at David's.
Another truth: The sales of Monique Luo's dresses was
sliding in privately owned bridal salons.

Truth: Galina Bridal was a leader in bridal fashions in the
80's & 90's. They were based in the USA and manufactured
simple and elegant bridal dresses. Galina folded up its operation
when bridal manufacturing moved to the China. Galina's
designs were too simple during the overly beaded, overly
embroidered, overly saturated import gowns hitting the market
and they just couldn't compete. David's bought the name,
the current Galina branded gowns don't resemble the classic
styling and couture touches of the original Galina line.
Fact: If Mom wore a Galina gown
at her wedding, this isn't even close.

Truth: David's Bridal sales consultants are paid on a commission
basis. If you don't buy, they don't get paid.

Truth: David's Bridal sales consultants are very well
trained to sell. Key word: SELL. They are not as knowlegable
about bridal fashions, fit, options, fabrics, silhouettes as the
consultants in privately owned bridal salons. I've seen the
sales manual (I refuse to reveal my sources). The sales manual
is slick and powerful. They follow a script, including a script for
overcoming objections. If you walk into David's, they aren't doing
their job unless they sell you the dress and all the accessories.
Their job is on the line, they HAVE to sell.

Fact: David's bridal doesn't do special measurements, hollow to
hem (which is length), or special add ons. If a dress has lace at
the hemline of the dress, that lace will have to be removed or
the dress will have to be taken up at the waistline. These
alterations should be done only by an experienced bridal seamstress
and its going to cost you. In an privately owned bridal salon, you
can order your dress at the finished length, which insures that the
factory is making your dress just for you and you won't need
additional hem alterations that could included rebeading charges
and other expensive alterations.

Fact: Bridal manufacturers servicing a full service bridal salon will
add or subtract sleeves, straps, change the fabric, change the
beading, make the dress temple ready, lower or raise the neckline
or back bodice, cut off the train or elongate the train, add details
to make the dress uniquely your own.

Truth: Since David's dresses are cut according to one chart
and length, and no options are available, expect to pay higher
alteration charges.

Fact: The quality of David's dresses is NOT the same as you'll
find for the same price of dress in a privately owned bridal salon.
There's a huge difference in quality, fit, fabrics and service.

Fact: David's dresses are repetitive in all areas of the country.
Don't be surprised to see "your" dress at another wedding.

Fact: David's Bridal is owned by the same company
that owns Priscilla of Boston, US Angels
flower girl dresses and is putting out an upscale pricey line called
the Vineyard collection. Truth: The sale of upscale pricey dresses
is slow in the troubled economy.

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