Post # 1
I purchased my gown about a month ago. I was told after buying it (designer info was not released until I purchased) that the designer was Ava Claire couture. Yesterday I went googling just to see if I could find MY dress on the Ava Claire website…except, there ISN’T an Ava Claire website. No website, no mention of the designer anywhere online…
I found two other weddingbee threads that MENTION this designer but they didn’t have any more info (one thread mentioned Ava Claire in a list of designers that were sold at a certain boutique – which I suspect is the same boutique I bought from – and the other thread mentioned Ava Claire as a mystery deisgner, but no other info was given).
I called the boutique where I purchased the gown and asked about it – they said that Ava Claire was a “private label” with “no online advertising and no website”. Does anyone know of ANY designers that do this? Is that legit?
Even IF a designer didn’t have a website, wouldn’t I see SOMETHING online about Ava Claire? Some mention, some blog post, some discussion or thread from another bride who purchased from the same designer? ANYTHING?
On the other hand, if I tried on a dress that I LOVED and that’s the dress I get…does it matter if it’s from a no name designer or whatever? I guess I don’t really care about the designer NAME per se, but just the principle of the matter…why would a boutique do this? Why make up a designer name, then say that it’s a private label with no website? I don’t really understand, and I’ve already bought the dress…am I just screwed? What questions do I need to ask? I’m confused!
Post # 3
Hmm. The dress I purchased was a “private label” through the actual boutique, and it was totally legitimate. It wasn’t something I could find online, but the dress was very, very real. 🙂
Post # 4
Okay that’s really good to know! I need to hear more stories like this. (:
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2013 - Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo
@RHAM88: but then how would you explain the “private label”‘s casablanca dress on that other thread?
Post # 6
Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here, but it seems to me that you didn’t buy the gown with the understanding that it was a Vera Wang or Jim Hjelm or whatever, meaning you bought it because you loved it and thought the price was worth the quality of the worksmanship.
Okay, so then they tell you the designer, but you can’t find info on her online. So what? If I decide to make wedding dresses one day, I could call my line “WXYZ” or whatever I want, decide how much I’m going to charge for my time and materials, and then sell it through a local bridal shop. I’m “private label” at that point. Does that make the dress you bought any less lovely?
I guess it would be a very different situation if you found out this “Ava Claire” or whatever was really a designer knock-off from China, but if it’s just because it’s some no name designer or alternately, a designer that only produces a small number of dresses and therefore doesn’t feel the need to advertise in any way, then it seems to me there’s no problem.
Post # 7
That’s a really good point, @lindseylouwho. I was thinking that if I couldn’t find the designer’s website or anything, that automatically meant they had ripped me off in some way – by making up a designer or by ordering cheap dresses or something, and then trying to “pass it off” as a “private label” designer. I’m not good at shopping and have NO idea how any of the designing/distributing to boutiques works. Plus, the boutique didn’t have tags in any of the dresses, so when I found out that THAT practice is kinda shady, I freaked a little. I think I just got spooked. You’re right – I bought the dress I LOVE, so it doesn’t matter. Thanks for the perspective! 🙂
Post # 8
I think Allure has a line they don’t advertise or show on websites. I don’t think you should be worried until the dress comes in and you see what it’s like!
Post # 9
Umm are you sure they didn’t mean Ava Clara?
Post # 10
My experience was very similar. I bought my gown through a local boutique and the label read “Marisa”. Of course I went home and tried to google it but it is a private label without a website. The only pictures I could find were of other brides who had worn it and posted pictures themselves! Loved the dress though and didn’t make any difference.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House
I went to a shop like this, they had all “private label” dresses – until I started recognizing these dresses as rip offs of more popular high designer dresses. I KNEW they were china knockoffs. Stores like this can do that. It sucks but it DOES happen!
Post # 12
Thanks for all the personal stories and suggestions, everyone! I feel a lot better. I’ll wait to see MY dress before freaking out unneccessarily! 🙂 Just had a bridezilla moment I think.
@utopia4us, I saw that pop up on my many google searches, but I think that is a name of a bridal boutique, not the designer I’m searching for. Thank you!
Post # 13
One salon I tried on gowns at had a private label designer with no website that was “exclusive” to the salon. Honestly, I believe it just means its the salon’s line and they gave it a designer name so it doesn’t sound generic. My mom actually adored a lace gown I tried on from this private name designer. I didn’t wind up getting it, but it was a beautiful gown. I wouldn’t let that bother you.
@ALee17: Marisa makes gorgeous dresses!! They are a bit hard to find, but they are lovely. You are lucky girl!
Post # 14
Having worked at a bridal store, there are 2 different scenerios i feel this could fall under.
one, some well known designers do in fact have a “private label” that only certain stores carry, no pictures online etc. My old store carried the Maggie Sottero “gold label” or something like that.
We also carried a “private label” which meant our store owner found a company that woudl sell her dresses that she could then make her own label. the owner did have pictures of the dresses online, but I could see how some stores might not. (eta- yes they were “knock off”, beautiful but much less expensive for the store owner to purchase)
I think you will be fine 🙂
Post # 15
I have a “Private Label” dress too and was only ever able to find it online at a boutique in Boston. I bought it in Colorado. I never was able to track down the actual designer info either, but I don’t really care because it’s a beautiful dress, and I love it more and more every time I try it on. Does it really matter to you who the designer is?
Post # 16
My dress is also a Private Label – Kenneth Winston PL1486 to be exact…I believe private labels are not knockoffs…they are just not high end designers and are only carried in certain stores with minimal sizes, therefore taking up to 8 months to come in becasue it is custom to your size…
You will be fine…and I agree…I think it is Ava Clara