With Valentine's Day just around the corner...we thought we'd show some love to our custom counterparts over at Kathryn Wen! Launched in 2018, this Manhattan-based boutique creates custom dresses on the belief that bridesmaid and wedding dresses should be made from the heart, versatile and FUN. We sat down with co-founders Wendy and Lindsay to get the scoop on customizing the females in your wedding party:
How was the idea for Kathryn Wen born?
Lindsay's had multiple besties get married, and she found that each of them struggled with finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses. From color, price or style, each bride had a different issue. Wendy was the Bride-to-be, and she also found it extremely hard to find exactly what she wanted even with the market overflowing with products. The bridesmaid and the bride just happened to be besties at work and BOOM, Kathryn Wen was founded. Fun fact is Kathryn is Lindsay's middle name and Wen is Wendy's Maiden name!
In a nutshell, tell us about the process for creating your maid to order bridesmaid dresses.
First, we have the potential client take our style quiz. This helps us find out more about her and what she's looking for! Once the quiz is submitted we send out a digital design package with sketches and color swatches based on the answers. Once the client has decided on the design, we put together a physical design package that includes a beautiful illustration of the final sketch/es, different fabrications, along with a time and action calendar to keep all parties on track. We then order the fabric and the made-to-order process begins.
Can you describe a Kathryn Wen girl?
A KW girl is someone who is on-the-move and is always ready for the next challenge and adventure. She is a curious, cultural seeker, across varying demographics. She is up to date on all the current trends whether it be the hottest spot in town for food and drinks, the latest fashion must-haves, world news and technologies; very technical savvy, but still prefer a human touch. She has a pragmatic and effortless sense of style and values craftsmanship and quality. Appreciates the finer things in life and will go the extra mile to get what she wants. She craves for a fun experience, whether it be travel or purchasing a product. She lives in the metropolitan areas in the U.S. and engages in social media regularly. Pinterest and Instagram are her go to for wedding inspirations.
Why should ladies choose custom over the traditional bridal boutique for their big day?
KW creates beautifully designed custom dresses that brings the personality and vision of the clients to life. Weddings are becoming ever more personal, and every bride wants to showcase their point of view by customizing every aspect of the Big Day. We can help them with the big part of the focal points, which are the dresses. Because of the unique experience plus the high quality product, they will be pleased that they did not go with the mainstream selections that overcrowds the market. KW isn't just offering them a product, but a chance to make their special day a bit more magical by being involved with the dress creation process and being able to share the story of how the dresses came to life. The bonus is having beautiful bridesmaid dresses that they will want to wear again and again.
What is the greatest challenge for you as a custom designer?
Greatest challenge is creating a visual from the BEGINNING for our client. With our fashion backgrounds, it is easy for us to envision how a sketch will translate in real life, but it can be a challenge for the client to visualize the final product from an illustration. We are working on finding a better approach and will ensure our clients can confidently make the commitment with ease.
Can you work with brides that are super specific on a vision for their bridesmaids as well as brides who aren’t as sure of what they want?
100%! This is one of the most important days of their lives, so they will want to see as many options as possible when it comes to style and colors. It is our mission to tailor to the clients' needs and to ensure their visions are carried out in the ways that flatter them the most and be able to enhance the big day in a beautiful way. We are very big on having the Bride being part of the entire process from start to finish. We are essentially designing along her side to create her dream dress. She has the vision, we have the expertise.
Any ideas for coordinating the bridesmaid and groomsmen custom looks?
That's the beauty of custom! Coordinating prints and colors is easy! It takes two to tie the knot, so leave it up to IDUEX and Kathryn Wen to let both the bride and groom have some fun while looking fab. Our styles allow us to create so many combinations of styles, we are sure to find many that can go well with the IDUEX styles. With our expansive color offerings, we can find a matching color to the IDUEX print with ease. Our couples will surely look cohesive and can enhance each other's looks.
How much should a bride-to-be expect to spend to outfit the women standing by her at the alter?
Each custom bridesmaid dress starts at $295-$350 depending on the amount of customization. Our custom Bridal dresses are all dependent on the amount of customization as well as fabrication (silk, lace, viscose, etc.), We will generate a price quote once we being designing.
Who would you love to customize their wedding?
Everyone's! We want every bride and bridesmaid out there to feel the unique aspects of a custom dress; the experience, the product, all of it!
Any memorable client stories?
Most memorable client story was our first Bride Molly Fleming. Molly is Lindsay's cousin, and Lindsay was her Maid of Honor! It was a special moment for the both of them, and a super intimate experience. There was a small tiny scare during the transit period when we thought the package went missing, but thankfully, the dress arrived on time and on point for Molly's big day; in time for Lindsay to give her infamous drunken speech. 😊
For more information on Kathryn Wen, visit their site and follow along on Facebook and Instagram