Celebrity designer Kirstie Kelly just announced that she has added six new bridal gowns to her affordable Signature Collection for Costco Wholesale that debuted this weekend on Long Island at the Westbury store.
As the line advances, we asked Kelly to address the elephant in the room: Who would buy a wedding dress at Costco?
Shop Talk. Why Costco?
Kirstie Kelly. Costco came to me a couple of years ago looking to get involved in the wedding industry. We noticed at that time that the way brides were spending their money was changing. The way Costco does business allows us to offer high-quality to brides at a lower price point.
ST. What is the Costco shopping experience really like?
KK. I think for most women the thought of shopping for their wedding gown at Costco is quite daunting, but when they actually go and experience it, there is a "wow" factor. You walk into this big, beautiful white salon, and there are bridal consultants ready to find the perfect gown for you. There are mannequins in wedding dresses and walls so high you can't even tell you're inside of Costco; it's a salon experience. Most women don't expect that, they expect to see dresses on the racks next to the groceries. That's not the case.
ST. What was your style inspiration for the Signature Line?
KK. It was very important to me to represent all different types of weddings and all different types of brides. There's something perfect for the destination wedding, something for the classic cathedral wedding, something for a Napa wedding. The style is romantic and feminine with quiet details that allow the bride to really shine through.
ST. Who is the bride you're targeting?
KK. Our Costco bride is a savvy woman who understands quality and understands fashion but isn't willing to break the bank for it. She's an urban career woman whose mom and dad aren't necessarily paying for this wedding. Nowadays women can find all the information they need on the Web, so they don't have as many questions or insecurities; they know what they want.
ST. What about this collection are you most proud of?
KK. I'm most proud to be able to offer women this amazing quality at such an amazing price point. The response from consumers has been wonderful; they're buying a $900 gown that would normally go to retail for $2,800 or $3,000. I love hearing their stories and meeting the brides, knowing that they are happy with the experience.The benefit of partnering with Costco is not having to compromise on fabrics, details or any aspect of quality to offer such low prices. I love the smaller details you notice when you get up close to the gowns: the fine beading, the pleating.
ST. If New York brides missed the Westbury trunk show, how can they shop the Signature Collection?
KK. The next trunk show in the area is at the Costco in Norwalk, Conn., in two weeks [Aug. 25-28]. Our sales team will also help you order gowns online at kirstiekelly.com, so the opportunity is never really missed. Appointments can be scheduled there or at Costco.com.
Photo: Designer Kirstie Kelly.