These Asian American Wedding Designers Are Taking Wedding Dresses to the Next Level

Buying a wedding dress should be as cheerful, welcoming and expressive as the occasion you are celebrating. But – spoiler – that’s not always the case, given the limited sizing options, myriad barriers to physically entering a store, and good old gate control (why pricing information is so hard to find?). But there is a group of innovative, creative and talented Asian American wedding designers who are changing the landscape of the industry with dreamy styles, fresh ideas and new ways to buy your big day dress (or jumpsuit or crop top and shorts – like, you are you).

First, there’s a style for everyone, no matter the budget, from Andrew Kwon’s spectacular new glamor to Ceremony by KkCo’s cool bridal aesthetic, which has you covered from civil ceremony to elopement to nuptials on the beach at sunset. But more importantly, the brand makes it easy to find your ideal look. For example, at-home fitting kits help you host your own fitting night with friends and family (or solo) in your most comfortable location. Nova by Enaura’s online store offers similar convenience with a dress designer that walks you through taking your own precise measurements and customizing a dress to fit you perfectly, literally and figuratively. .

Designers also look to their heritage for design inspiration. For example: the handmade Indian beading on dresses from Nova by Enaura, or the way East Meets Dress bridges Chinese and Vietnamese wedding traditions with a contemporary twist of Asian American style. And Kwon celebrates his Korean immigrant mother, who happily remarried in her late 50s, with her exuberant designs. “It showed a lot of resilience in her. It was a new day for her,” Kwon said. “She was a huge inspiration and I wanted to create that same confidence and beautiful memories for other women too.”

Inclusion is also important for this new wave of wedding industry designers, especially in the case of KkCo founder Kara Jubin (whose new Las Vegas elopement-themed collection campaign will make you smile). “I don’t want to put myself in a box,” she says. “That’s how we run KkCo.”

Ahead, check out six AAPI designers who are changing the face of the bride and helping you find your dream wedding look.

courtesy of Andrew Kwon

The Parsons graduate brings Hollywood glamor to the wedding aisle with his eponymous collection. “Ever since I was young, I’ve always found the red carpet incredibly beautiful,” says Kwon, who trained with celebrities Vera Wang and Marchesa. Her signatures include intricate bodice work, with architectural plays on the corsetry, flowing layers of tulle and inventive straps – “thin butterfly straps,” as he likes to call it – accented with metallic embroidery and flowers. Produced in New York’s Garment District, her second collection featured lush, romantic colors inspired by the sun-kissed hills of Provence and the Mediterranean Sea off Marseille, all in silhouettes you can truly wear again. “I said to customers, ‘if you want, wear it for any event,” says Kwon.

Sizing: 0 to 24

General price range: $5,000 to $10,000

Personalization services: available by style (custom design is also an option)

courtesy of Grace & Ivory

“Wedding dresses for crazy women,” says Tina Wong, repeating the tagline of her direct-to-consumer brand, which she founded after her own less-than-ideal bridal shopping experience. So all Grace & Ivory dresses – from flowing, flowing A-lines to romantic lace-embroidered gowns with chapel trains to a majestic cape mermaid silhouette in sumptuous silk crepe – are tailor-made to suit any style. shapes and sizes. Dresses are also customizable, depending on the style (i.e. move a neckline, shorten a hemline, change sleeve length, etc.). The popular home fitting service allows customers to fit samples at home before purchasing. Plus, a give-back feature donates 10% of proceeds from every dress sold to a cause supporting women’s safety and professional development. “Our goal is to champion women’s rights, elevate women’s voices, and create a truly collaborative and supportive wedding brand,” Wong says.

Sizing: custom made for any size

General price range: $1,200 to $2,500

Personalization services: available depending on style

courtesy of East Meets Dress

After struggling to find a cheongsam (a high-necked Chinese dress traditionally worn for weddings, or “qipao” in Mandarin) that also matched her contemporary style taste, Vivian Chan co-founded East Meets Dress with her best friend Jenn Qiao. “We wanted something high-quality that really spoke to the modern Asian American woman,” says Los Angeles-based Chan. After launching with a handful of cheongsam styles, the brand is rapidly expanding with chic Vietnamese ao dai tunics and pant sets, as well as groom wear honoring both cultures. While the standard styles are available for immediate shipment, the bespoke cheongsam and ao dai categories offer customizations including different colors, train length, back covering, etc., depending on the style. Samples are available for home try-ons, and the site has helpful tutorials on etiquette and how to wear. “We have a collection of pets, which is also very cute,” says Chan.

Sizing: made-to-measure for all sizes for the made-to-measure collection; XS to 2XL, depending on the style for the standard size collection

General price range: $450 to $1,200 from the Custom Collection; $200 to $400 for standard size collection

Personalization services: available by style and category

courtesy of KkCo

In 2019, Kara Jubin launched her made in Los Angeles brand KkCo (pronounced “kay-koh”) with an asymmetrical, blocked and ruffled transparent organza dress, baptized nine twenty seven. She’s since received requests for bridal versions of the evergreen style, which has snowballed in interest for more bridal iterations of her LA cool kid pieces. “It wasn’t just for weddings, it was for getaways or bridal showers or just ceremoniessays Jubin, also explaining the inspiration for her bridal line name. The forever collection, which she will add as new ideas naturally arise, features open interpretations of her hallmarks, such as easy briefs, a sailor-collar babydoll dress featuring 3D floral embellishments, an oversized suit and delicate polka dots, puff sleeves and ruffles dress (with a matching veil — fainting). Producing the line in Los Angeles, Jubin also works with clients on preferred customizations, like fabrics and clothing elements.

Sizing: XS to XXXL, plus custom size upon request

General price range: $395 to $1,695

Personalization services: available depending on style

courtesy of Nordeen

Amid a summer 2021 outdoor wedding boom, Brenna Simmons launched her nature-inspired and sustainability-conscious line, Nordeen. Romantic slip silhouettes, a high-low A-line with side cutouts and a dramatic ivory cape, in a plush georgette wool texture, all speak of romantic garden and beach ceremonies. Plus, a capsule of interchangeable pieces, like a cropped V-neck top with cape, bandeau with detachable cap sleeves adorned with ribbons, and tailored pants, speaks to the flexibility that today’s clientele wants and has. need. “From a micro ceremony, to a wedding, to a full reception, and everything in between, the collection can be worn versatilely,” says Simmons. The brand also emphasizes transparency; listing the natural materials used and the certifications, as well as highlighting the partners in the manufacturing process on the website. “I believe that everything about this day, including what you wear, should reflect how you feel, where it comes from, what it’s made of and who made it,” says Simmons.

Sizing: 0 to 12

General price range: $395 to $5,690

Personalization services: limited, but available on request and at the discretion of the designer

courtesy of Nova by Enoura

“We’re just trying to bring a real traditional experience from a retail store to online,” says Sohil Mistry, who launched Nova by Enaura direct-to-consumer with his retail veteran wife, Nayha Anand in February 2022. (Fun fact: The two met at a work event at the legendary Kleinfeld Bridal.) Customers can create their own dress via a dress-making app to take advantage of bespoke sizes and customizations, including modular skirt silhouettes. Fitting kits, including QR codes to contact a dedicated stylist, bring the luxury salon experience to the home. Nova launched nine styles, such as an off-the-shoulder draped mermaid with an exposed corset back, an A-line scoop neckline, with a beaded back and a slip with delicate cutouts. “Our next collection includes separate pieces, like crop tops and removable skirts,” says Anand. “More fun things will come into play.” Nova also offers hand-beaded veils for rental, as well as purchase.

Sizing: custom made for any size

General price range: $2,000 to $2,500+

Personalization services: available, depending on the style