Elie Saab showcased his first bridal fashion show in Barcelona
After having featured international brands such as Marchesa or Viktor&Rolf as guests of honor in past editions, the Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week presented a luxury highlight to close the first day of its 2023 edition. A regular at Paris fashion weeks, the Lebanese haute couture house Elie Saab chose Barcelona to stage its first international runway show dedicated exclusively to bridal wear on Wednesday, April 19.
Held inside the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, the luminous fashion show combined classic bridal silhouettes, characterised by voluminous princess-style dresses, with more modern and fitted cuts.
The collection featured a total of 30 strictly white bridal looks, inspired by the gardens of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, and characterised by the use of noble fabrics and sparkling details such as sequins, pearls, and feathers. The recognizable designs of the Lebanese designer, who was absent from the event due to scheduling conflicts, remained true to the DNA of his eponymous brand founded in 1982.
"Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week has done an outstanding job in establishing itself as a must-attend event for any brand operating in the bridal universe. We are delighted to have been invited and have a deep respect for the work and development of the event over the past few years," said Elie Saab Jr, CEO and son of the brand's founder, in an interview with FashionNetwork.com.
The bridal category already accounts for 15% of Elie Saab's sales revenue
Elie Saab's bridal line was relaunched in 2020 and has shown "good growth", according to the CEO, who considers it a "leading brand in the sector".
Regarding the reason for the haute couture brand's diversification into the bridal segment, the executive stated, "The bridal universe is so relevant that, in some way, we didn't want to limit ourselves to the niche character of couture. We wanted to have a product category that could potentially be more accessible to a wider audience."
The bridal line, composed of two collections per year and a total of 30 looks, is described as an "organic and natural" progression that is now sold in all of the brand's stores and is an integral part of Elie Saab's development strategy. As of today, this category represents 15% of the brand's total turnover. Looking ahead, the CEO is considering the possibility of once again opting for a runway format or perhaps a presentation format to showcase future bridal collections.
Elie Saab Jr explained that the ready-to-wear segment constitutes a significant portion of the company's revenue and is experiencing remarkable growth. Meanwhile, other segments such as furniture, children's collections, bridal wear, and haute couture are also performing well. The current focus of the company's strategy is to "consolidate the various product lines" that comprise its portfolio before venturing into new categories.
With a network of 15 company-owned stores, the brand aims to reach 25 stores by 2025. The company also has a network of 300 wholesale sellers and its perfumes are distributed in more than 14,000 points of sale. After Europe, the main markets in terms of sales volume for the royal household's favourite brand are the United States and the Middle East.
The first day of Bridal Fashion Week kicked off with an exquisite runway show by the iconic brand Jesús Peiró, followed by the presentations of the Catalan label Yolancris and the Basque designer Sophie et Voilà. The event also saw the presence of the renowned Valencian haute couture firm Isabel Sanchís. The fashion week, which will run until April 22 at the Montjuïc venue, will showcase the collections of 34 esteemed designers.
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