After a great weekend at Extravaganza (more on that soon!), we realized that our peers were wondering what brought about our new vision through Renegade. I wanted to lay it all out, because it was a HUGE pivot for us, and not as simple as one lone reason.
I've been bothered by a popular misconception that we only work with extreme brides. I actually love the variety of custom design. Finding how to bring a woman's personality to the forefront with fashion means sometimes it'll look bold, but many, MANY times, we're creating lovely looks for rustic brides, too. The bottom line is being true to yourself.
On that same note, it was time for a name and a look that felt more true to me. Renegade started as a buzzword early in 2016, and as time went on, I began to realize how apt of a fit it was for everything I do. I love tradition - but only when sentimentally valuable. I value innovation over conventionality. I refuse to follow the industry standard of knocking off a couture designer just to have the "gown of the season" in my collection. In my mind, that goes against everything a wedding gown should be. This isn't a moment for conformism. When the church doors open and you glide down the aisle, your partner's first thought as you come into view should be
"Wow. That's SO HER. And she's amazing."
The styling aim before had been moody and luxe, and while fashion insiders seemed to appreciate that, it never resonated with brides. (It had no chill. hahahaha.) The analogy I've been using is that we've left behind "Alexander McQueen" in favor of "Betsey Johnson". Yes, both are offbeat, but our new aim communicates the FEELINGS I want brides to feel so much better. Joy. Laughter. Whimsy.
It's a bittersweet transition, letting go of something you love so dearly. It would be harder if I weren't already seeing brides and peers alike responding to our new vision in such an enthusiastic manner. Renegade feels good. Feels like the "me" I've always wanted to be.
For ten years, I built a brand with a heavy emphasis on domestic, even local, production. With our new factories - those responsible for our amazing new price point - it felt natural and transparent to debut with a new name. The last thing I'd want is for any client to feel betrayed or like we changed things behind the scenes deceptively.
Note: We continue to offer our couture system, "Haute Custom", created by our Houston atelier stitchers for brides seeking a more intimate involvement in development.
I'm thrilled to have a new system that feels easier (for everyone) and more accessible. In truth, my target niche has always been the COOL bride. The creatives. The bold. And as our costs rose above the $3k mark for Haute Custom, I saw a shift. I began to see fewer of my Montrose/EaDo/Heights ladies. At a certain price point, the scales tip toward Mom and Dad paying for the gown. Sometimes families are amazing. And other times, they make a confident, bold bride less eager to color outside the lines. I wanted to freedom to fill a need for every bride whose ideas made my heart sing.
2017 Renegade editorial alongside the lookbook from last season.
Photo credits: Karinda Kinsler, Lane Marie Photography