- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
I need some…I don’t know, opinions, I guess.
I purchased my dress from a local bridal shop that gets amazing reviews and had an amazing experience. I love my dress, although…I love lots of other dresses, too. Anyway. I had asked for photos of the dress, since I was told that it’s by a designer that’s exclusive to the shop, they sent me two of the dress on the mannequin and one of a model shot. Turns out, the dress is actually by Venus Bridals. I was, and still am, angry, but I’m not sure if it’s unjustified. I emailed them about it, and the owner of the salon wrote me back (I apologize for the following very long email she sent):
I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed your experience at Memories! I know Brittany and Kyle have really enjoyed working with you as well. As the owner of Memories, that is what is most important to me – that you enjoyed your shopping experience. It’s our goal to make sure every bride feels welcomed and cared for at our store and if they happen to find the perfect dress while they’re here, then that’s just a happy bonus.
I’m also glad you reached out and shared your concern about the branding of your gown. I can understand the confusion.
At Memories, just like most large stores that you shop at every day, we do have certain product lines that we have incorporated into our own “house brand”. We do this with gowns that are high quality and manufactured by great companies, but by companies who do not invest a ton of money into advertising their products. When I go to market to purchase our gowns, I personally hand select each of these gowns – based on their own merits (not their designer name) to put in our house collections. I want our brides to fall in love with the gowns themselves and not just the label inside.
Carrozzini is the name of one or our two house brands. Many of the gowns are made by Venus, a national manufacturer for use in our store. Memories is currently one of Venus’s largest, most reputable accounts. However, if you ask another bride if she has heard of “Venus” you will probably be met with a blank stare. This is because Venus rarely advertises to the bride. This is very unlike “Vera Wang” for example. In this situation, most of what you are paying for is the name on the tag.
The other reason we incorporate house brands has to do with internet knock offs. I’m not sure if you’ve seen any of the recent news shows about the huge problem the internet poses w/ knock-offs of wedding gowns, but with recent proliferation of such sites, designers and stores have taken great lengths to protect their brides from these scammers (see our Memories Bridal Facebook post from March 14). Many designers and stores will often code or change their style numbers so that brides won’t fall prey to this scam. When you Google the manufacturer’s code of AF086, almost all of the sites that come up are cleverly disguised knock-off sites, but unless you’re an expert in this industry, you’ll think that these sites are selling legitimate designer gowns. They are not. In fact, they are poorly made, cheap imitations that often barely resemble to designer’s original gown. This is no different than someone selling a $200 “Rolex” watch. The problem is with wedding gowns, by the time a bride knows she’s been duped, it is usually too late. A good rule of thumb is if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
We’ve learned these lessons by working with thousands of brides just like you.
I hope this helps with some of the confusion. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
We’re so happy that you found a gown you loved, and I really want us to be a trusted ally for you as you plan and prepare for the biggest day of your life!
I…still don’t like it. Telling brides that a dress designed and manufactured by a nationally-distributed company was actually a “house design” still feels like a lie to me. It feels exactly like a store selling a replica/knock off of a dress and not mentioning that. I could not care less what the name on the tag is–I am well aware that many times, you’re paying for the name (I have a Marketing degree, after all). I just…I don’t know what to do or if my feelings are just an overreaction.