Today is the launch day for ModCloth's bridal collection, which kicks off with 30 wedding dresses ranging in price from $175 to $450. There are more than 50 bridesmaids dresses too, all in the $70 to $175 range. You'll also find bridal shoes from rose gold flats to genuinely kooky flatforms, as well as bridal accessories and lingerie.
But even though ModCloth Wedding is unveiled today, fans of the brand's vintage-inspired dresses have been getting married in ModCloth for years. That exact phrase is the name of a hashtag, #MarriedInModCloth, where hundreds of brides have posted photos of the looks they created from the brand's dresses and special occasions sections.
So when ModCloth started designing its new wedding website, its designers turned to the hashtag and community for inspiration.
"You see these things come to life," explained Nicole Haase, ModCloth's vice president and general merchandising manager. "It actually inspires the way we may tailor a collection or think about 'Wow, maybe we should make this a little bit longer or cut off the sleeves or change the color.' It doesn't necessarily need to be relegated to little white dress. Maybe it's ivory or blush."
The 30 dresses are meant to appeal to all sorts of brides, from boho to beachy, and to expand beyond the fit-and-flare, 1950s-style ModCloth fans know and love. "We really wanted to make sure we were catering to a diverse silhouette offering for different girls within our community and we felt that maxis, A-lines, shifts, that was really where it needed to evolve into," Haase said.
70% of the bridesmaid dresses are exclusive to ModCloth, while 60% of the wedding gowns are exclusive. Haase says the goal is to have 90% of the pieces be exclusive to ModCloth by the end of the year.
Just like ModCloth's everyday offering, the brand is striving to offer wedding dresses in a range of sizes, from petites to size 28-30 (4X).
With wedding dresses well under $500, ModCloth is hoping brides will consider stocking up for reception dresses, rehearsal dresses, and any other wedding event. "This is no different for us as far as our general pricing practice," ModCloth CEO Matt Kaness told Racked.
ModCloth's bridal launch coincides with the "ModCloth IRL Tour," which takes the brand across the country for five pop-up shop events, starting in Austin on April 8th.
All the pop-up shops will be modeled after the ModCloth's temporary Fit Shop in San Francisco. It's about to end its run: the shop was supposed to only be open for three weeks but the brand was so fascinated by the response that it stayed open for months. The IRL pop-up shops will offer merchandise shoppers can pay for and take home right then and there (like T-shirts and home decor items), and samples to try on that are later shipped, Bonobos-style.
The pop-up shops will feature pieces from the bridal collection, with ModCloth stylists on hand for suggestions (they'll be available online to help brides too).
Kaness, who joined ModCloth last year from Urban Outfitters, says that the pop-up shops will help the brand learn more about its customers nationwide and about the possibility of opening permanent stores. But both the tour and bridal collections are steps toward ModCloth's new direction.
"We feel like we're just getting started to really stick to this bigger opportunity with our audience as a lifestyle brand," Kaness said. "I think it represents a lot of the direction that you're going to see from us the rest of this year and the year to come."