As a number of brands enter the affordable bridalwear and wedding wear market – including, as of this weekend, French online sensation Sézane – US giant Gap has announced it is exiting the market.
The group has been selling the Weddington Way brand online and in its Banana Republic stores in the US since it acquired the affordable bridesmaid dress business in 2016 (the brand was founded in 2011). The collection is to be removed from Banana Republic stores over the coming months and its website declares the brand is “in transition”.
Weddington Way online is currently offering a 15% off all styles, which range from short dresses and gowns priced from around $129 to $199, but has warned customers it will only be able to honour purchases until 11 June, after which its future is not clear.
The brand says it has sold 500,000 dresses since its launch and that it hopes to be able to “serve [customers] through our website indefinitely” but at present only orders placed before 11 June will be guaranteed for delivery and returns.
Gap’s move comes as many other mass-market and affordable luxury brands have moved into the market. Just last week H&M revealed its first ever bridal and wedding wear collection, following in the footsteps of the likes of Topshop, Whistles, ASOS and QUIZ to enter the market.
This Sunday, online French fashion sensation Sézane, will release its first wedding wear and summer occasion capsule collection called Sézane editions. The line features full-length wedding gowns from £180 along with full length gowns that would serve as bridesmaids and guest options for £180 along with short, knee-length and midi dresses, jumpsuits, separates, shoes and accessories.
The brand, which was founded by Morgane Sézalory, in 2013 is sold online and at a limited number of “Appartements” in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, as well as in the upscale Parisian department store Le Bon Marché. Before Christmas it ran a pop-up on London’s South Molton Street.
Driven by a dedicated social media following, the brand eschews the traditional seasonal model for fashion and instead drops capsule collections and collaborations every month and never goes on sale; customer returns are uploaded ever Wednesday. Key pieces from the capsules often sell out within moments of hitting its website and its first foray into the wedding wear market is unlikely to be an exception.
From the archive: read our interview with Sézane founder Morgane Sezalory here.