Bridal Times had the opportunity to catch up with James Ellis to tell us about his family’s incredible 110 year-long history in the bridal business, more about the brand and highlights of the latest collection.
Tell us a little about the history of the brand
The founder and original designer Ada Ellis honed her craft by creating bespoke dresses for London’s early 20th Century aristocracy. The birth of Ellis Bridals came when on a bright January day in 1910 Ada herself walked down the aisle to marry Sam in the very first Ellis wedding gown. Her distinctive, elegant style struck a chord and word spread fast. Demand grew as brides across England clamoured for an original Ellis Bridals creation. The brand blossomed, carving a place at the forefront of British bridal-wear. Believing that you should work surrounded by what you love, in the 1960s Ada opened her central London Atelier. Now moving into its fourth generation, the Ellis legacy continues with Ada’s great-grandson James Ellis. True to Ada’s words, family bonds have kept the heart of Ellis Bridals in London, where it has always been. We are very proud to be the oldest bridal house in the world.
Looking back at the longevity, what are you most proud of?
Over the years the brand has received recognition within the industry from the Queen’s award for Enterprise to winning the Bridal Buyer manufacturer of the year award. For me personally, I had taken over the business just before Covid so a highlight was the last Harrogate Bridal week, our first show back from Covid and we had such a wonderful reaction to the collection.
How do you feel that the Ellis designs have developed over the years? What’s changed?
I think we know who we are more than ever, this reflects in our design to our marketing. Previously we may have been influenced by different markets telling us what sells well for them. We now stay true to our style and listen to our home market first.
What can you tell about the collections presented on the runways and trade shows for 2022?
Simplicity & understated elegance are the overall themes of this collection combined with our signature construction and attention to detail. This season you will see new unique laces, beautiful mikado and crepe styled in different ways to suit different brides.
Construction is key this year with new sophisticated silhouettes, clever seam placements and feminine cuts which create the most flattering shapes to make the Ellis bride feel like the best version of herself.
What are some favorites or highlights from the collection?
Alice – Reimagined from an iconic Ellis style, with a chic just on-the-shoulder neckline combined with a bodice cut to nip you in at the waist, this dress is feminine and flattering. Structured mikado creates a striking ball gown silhouette whilst the lace applique detail brings a fresh, new take on this Ellis classic.
Ruby – Definitely a contemporary twist on a timeless style. The unique asymmetric lace panelling creates a beautiful illusion to draw in the waist for an ultra-flattering silhouette. A square neck and puff sleeve detail makes this a chic option for any modern bride.
What is Ellis Bridal’s relationship with the German market? Can we expect to see Ellis Bridals exhibit in Germany again next year?
We are really pleased to hear that Interbride and the European Bridal Market have now merged. We will be exhibiting again next year and hope that it connects us to new markets.
When is the next opportunity for retailers to view the collection?
Bridal Retailers will be able to view the collections at the upcoming Harrogate Bridal Show in September, the London Bridal Week in March and Interbride in April of 2023.
For further information on the brand, visit Ellis Bridals