Bridal Times had the opportunity to speak with Crystal Lu of Casablanca Bridal to find out what it’s been like to work for her successful family business and how the brand has adapted and evolved during the pandemic.
What has it been like to contribute and work for your family’s business, Casablanca Bridal?
As a child, I remember being the first one dropped off at kindergarten and the last one to be picked up, going straight to my parent’s office till 1 a.m. I would spend all night making cardboard trains and houses out of boxes from the warehouse. I always thought it was amazing how our office was right next to Disneyland since that meant I could get a free view of the fireworks show every single night. It’s so surreal for me to think that the same office I spent late nights playing around and waiting for my parents to finish work is the same one I’m going into now everyday for work as an adult.
Bridal is something I’ve grown up with my entire life whether it be crawling through stacks of bridal magazines around the house or admiring all the beautiful accessories and models at photoshoots. It’s been absolutely incredible to watch my parents grow this company from the ground up with zero bridal or business background to now being one of the most well-known, established bridal manufacturers in the industry! I consider myself very lucky to be a part of a family business in an industry that I’m so passionate about and can’t wait to introduce all of my new ideas and concepts.
What do you think are key elements that has made Casablanca Bridal so successful over these years?
Something my father always reminds me is that we are not here to sell gowns, but to sell love. At Casablanca Bridal, we believe there is a difference between designing a dress for your marriage and designing a dress for your wedding. We believe every bride deserves to get married, stay married, and celebrate forever! For the past 20+ years, we have been using our gowns to show brides what it feels like to fall in love all over again by saying yes to their dream wedding dress.
Our way of showing brides that the dream wedding could be the start to a dream marriage is through our hands-on custom approach to the design and manufacturing process. We have the unique ability to offer all of our brides truly customized, high-quality gowns with hand beaded designs and exquisite laces at super competitive prices. Unlike many other designers who subcontract their gowns to multiple manufacturing plants, we have a unique privately owned state-of-the art manufacturing facility ensuring we have complete control over the quality, price, and speed of the entire production process.
Tell us about the current collections and what makes them different from each other?
Casablanca Bridal is the well-rounded, balanced point of connection between her sister brands Amaré Couture and Beloved by Casablanca Bridal. Filled with a spirit of feminine elegance, the Casablanca bride appreciates timeless designs with a modern twist without being overly flashy.
The youngest sister of our three brands is Beloved by Casablanca Bridal. The overall aesthetic for the brand is light and airy, free from feeling overly embellished. Beloved’s overarching aesthetic is one of comfortable ease, with beautifully clean and minimalistic boho designs for the young, and trendy DIY-type of bride.
Finally, we have our Amaré Couture line which sources the highest quality fabrications, including silks and specialty laces, and also carries a greater sense of sophisticated seduction in design details such as plunging necklines and sheer overlays. Unafraid of taking risks, the Amaré Couture bride is fashion-forward and known as trendy, savvy and sexy, pulling off looks that not everyone is capable of.
What are some new trends or highlights introduced in the collections?
It may not be for everyone, but we’re super excited to be offering matching bridal masks for any bride who wants a mask to match their gown! We’ve always been able to create matching veils for any gown since we have our own factory and have the capability to offer any sort of customizations, so why not bridal masks for the COVID bride? We can make one that perfectly matches the lace of your gown to complete your quarantine style wedding day look.
For our designs, we’re super excited to be introducing more of our plush laser cut velvet lace which adds a unique element of dimension to your gown.
We’re also introducing some more 3d floral lace appliqués to our spring 2021 collection that we think will also add a nice quality of unique texture and subtle seduction.
Do you have a personal favorite wedding gown style or look?
My dream wedding would be by the ocean, so my personal favorite gown style is Style 2419 Mckenzie from our Fall 2020 Collection. It has the perfect beach wedding dress glam I’m looking for with subtle stars and botanical florals swimming all over the beaded lace applique.
Due to the many cancelled bridal events this year, you recently held a stunning VIP pop up show in your own family’s home. What other changes or decisions has the brand made to adapt during the current pandemic?
Something that I’m very excited to launch in response to the pandemic is our new Virtual Showroom which will feature 360 images of our entire Spring 2021 Collection. This technology has been available for quite some time now, however we are one of the first designers in the bridal industry to offer this shopping capability to our retailers. We dressed a mannequin with all of our new gowns and placed them one by one on the center of a rotating platform. The platform would automatically rotate as the camera captured 24 images that eventually got edited and stitched together to create one 360 image.
Can you tell us Casablanca’s relationship with the bridal market in Germany and when may be the next time retailers will be able to view the collections?
Casablanca Bridal has a very strong relationship with its valued German retailers and they are doing extremely well with both the Casablanca and Beloved by Casablanca Bridal collections. Earlier this year, we hosted a Pop Up Show for our German and Benelux customers to see our 2021 collection. We have opened a new showroom in Zwolle, NL that is an easy driving distance for our German retailers to preview our collections. In case our customers are traveling from afar, we offer the best hospitality and full Casablanca Bridal Family treatment thanks to our amazing European Sales Manager Sonja Jonkers. Finally, we are planning a regional Pop Up Show in Southern Germany during the 4th quarter of this year to show our new 2022 collection and are excited about participating at ABC Salon in München, which will be beneficial for our South Germany customers and those in neighboring countries. We remain excited about the success we are having in the German market and are truly grateful for all of our retail partners.
Year 2020 has been a tough year for many industries, what are your hopes and outlooks for the bridal industry?
At the beginning of 2020, we branded this new decade as “The Decade of Unlimited Possibilities”. With a global pandemic affecting all of our daily lives and business, it’s more important now than ever to embrace this ideology – that there are unlimited possibilities, remain resilient, and be willing to evolve. Love is not canceled… and neither is our hope and aspirations for the future!
We would like to thank Crystal Lu for this interview.
For further information, please visit Casablanca Bridal.