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2013 April 23

Bridal Reboot At Jovani Fashions

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Julie Durocher Julie Durocher
Giorgio Niro
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(NEW YORK) Jovani Fashions has been making the party rounds since the ‘80s, selling their beaded creations in over 3,000 stores. But this season, the New York-based evening brand is bringing a renewed focus to its bridal collection. Designer Julie Durocher tells all! 

You’re rebranding your bridalwear. Why now?
We have a lot going on here at Jovani. We design prom, evening, pageant, and everything else! The focus may have gotten a little off-key for our bridal, so we’re revamping. Before, I’d describe the line as more traditional. Going forward, we want it to be more of an extension of the Jovani brand. 

Details, s’il vous plaît!
Sexy cuts, low backs, and nude illusion lining. The dresses are more modern, and we got rid of that super white shade to incorporate softer crèmes and pastel tones.

And you’re offering shorter dresses as well?
Yes, we call them our “cake cutting” dresses. Many brides nowadays are looking for little white cocktail dresses, so if they’re wearing a big ball gown at the wedding, they can let loose at the reception.

What kind of silhouette might the Jovani bride stray from?

I see brides in Central Park, walking around with these huge trains. They look so unhappy carrying that heavy fabric around and getting everything dirty! Trains are a lot of fun, obviously, but our brides are looking for something more comfortable and sophisticated. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re in a coffin! Comfort is the number one word I hear.

Prom is a big category for you. Do women get more worked up about their prom dress or their wedding gown?
The prom dress, actually! Women are getting married a little later now. They’re career women, and they have priorities. They understand the value of things and have real expenses. The wedding dress reflects that lifestyle, more than it did years ago.

Jovani has dressed everyone from Snooki to Taylor Swift to Natalie Cole!

Our brand reflects different women and different ages. Another celebrity who buys our dresses is Paris Hilton, but she buys them retail, with her own money.

How does the label attract such a wide range?

I like to design a dress that a 20-year-old can wear, and that I can wear, too. Older women are staying in shape. They should be able to wear what they want, especially brides! A lot of our bridal dresses are perfect for second weddings. The bride may not be 20 years old, but she still wants to be sexy. This is the second man she’s caught, and she wants to keep him!

Would we be more likely to find you at a Swift concert or a Cole concert?

Probably Taylor Swift. I know I’m not 20, but I still think I am!

What’s not sexy to you?

A bad fit is never sexy. And I don’t like anything too provocative. The back has always been our showcase. It’s an erogenous zone without looking too showy.

What’s one thing you’d like to change in the bridal industry?

There are a lot of old-school bridal stores that have been around for a while, and they sell dresses that look the same. You have to really convince them to try something new, and put the brides in something more modern. 

When you’re at a wedding, what’s your favorite aspect?

The appetizers! It’s the only time you can really walk around and see what everyone is wearing.

Any parts you’d rather skip?

My least favorite wedding moment is when the best man does his toast. They always seem to insult someone!
What is that all about?

Along with your new bridal aesthetic, you’ve got some major launches in the works.

Yes, we’re launching a collection for younger tweens and teens. There will be about 40 dresses, and they’ll be more suitable for that age group—no bra cups or deep sweetheart necklines. We’re planning on debuting the line in the August market.

Anything else in the pipeline?

We’re also relaunching our evening separates for the woman who fits into the Jovani look but is more comfortable in a pantsuit, whether she’s a mother of the bride or a guest at
a wedding.

Which category would you never delve into?

A group of muumuus, probably.

What are your plans post-Bridal Week?

We’ll be at Pier 94 all weekend, but we don’t need to make plans. It’s always a party at Jovani!

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