In an interview with Global Store Design & Experience Director of Pronovias Group, Amanda Pérez Macedo Delgado explains the most important elements of a modern and appealing bridal shop.
How did you first discover your passion for creative design?
I believe this kind of passion is not something we discover. You are born and raised with an interest and love for a matter. Since I was young, I remember myself designing, creating compositions, organizing spaces, mixing colors… I also used to write poems, and still do it. My creativity is what my heart wants to make, things I love very deeply, things I feel, things I imagine, things I see, things I‘m going through, ideas or paradigms I’m exploring and whatever magic I’m capable of making up. I feel very lucky to work at Pronovias Group as Store Design & Experience Director, as I can work every day in my passion
What would you say are the most important elements in having an appealing bridal shop?
Our bridal shops are a dream place. Brides come looking to give life to one of their most important dreams, to make a very emotional and difficult decision and they know that the memories of this day will be forever in the minds of their families and closest friends. The first impact between a Pronovias Group store and the bride is very important to create a bond of trust and care with the customer. The façade must meet all the expectations of that future bride, it must convey everything that she hopes it means trust, savoir faire, professionalism. The interior of the store must breathe with style, glamor, fashion foward and to impact in their hearts. I personaly always work based on experiences that are able to relate to the 5 senses of the human being, to reach the deepest emotions of all brides, from moving images, music, smell , the lights, the textures in the furniture, the taste of champagne, because the store design is a conversation between bride and brand so at Pronovias Group our stores reflects who we are, our values, our mision and our soul.
What are the first steps you make when you are put to the task of designing a bridal shop?
As the 3 first steps I can say:
- Analyze all the business needs with the different departments of the company such as commercial, marketing and financial.
- Study the location of the store, its flows, entrances, exits, direct and indirect competition.
- How can the store invite brides to enter and stay? How attractive can the spaces and the entrance be? Where are the best views and flow from outside?
What about lighting? How can bridal shops effectively use lighting for their advantage?
Lighting scenography is one of the most important things in Retail Design.
Good lighting can create excitement, relationship and impact and changes everything in the final experience. It emphasizes merchandising and helps to highlight the brilliance of our details and the value of our products. It can influence customers to spend more time in your store, spend more money, are more likely to return, and recommend your store to friends and loved ones, simply because they looked and felt good.
Light also helps us make brides feel more confident, beautiful and calm. It affects the mood, behaviors and shopping habits and draw customers’ attention to products that need special appreciation.
At Pronovias, we always look to create scenarios by thinking of how to show products as a “piece of Art“, not only on windows, but also in the “hot spots“ inside the store. Is also important to pay attention to the fitting rooms and catwalk areas. The bride need to feel beautiful, calm and confident.
Choosing colors can also be difficult. What are some absolute “No-Go’s” when it comes to color?
Considering the general experience that we need to create in Bridal Shop, soft and cozy colors are the most recommended to use. But I believe that all colors are always allowed when you combine them properly, respecting the values of your brand, your storytelling and the promise that you make to your customers.
For example we use a touch of red in our Nicole stores and the brass in our Pronovias stores.
Tip: if you want or need to create a totally white background, try contrasting the area of the dress with another material that can glorify your dresses as we do in our Pronovias shops with pieces of marble, because a white back can blur the dress.
How can bridal retailers with a limited bridal shop floor best utilize their space?
In my opinion, bridal spaces are about creating emotions like kindness, reliability and tenderness. Shops should talk about the brand values and it mission as how much we care about brides, how much we love them, what we can offer them to make this moment as unforgettable and wonderful as they always dreamed of.
Pronovias Group is the most relevant bridal fashion brand in the world, present in 150 countries with over 4000 point of sales and 53 Boutiques in cities such as New York, London, Paris and Barcelona. With the digital transformation, we are experiencing an incredible opportunity to make our stores experimental spaces no matter the size. Selling in stores today is not just about showing our product, it is about having a conversation, a relationship with our customers.
My advice: if you have a small bridal shop, it is important to create this friendly space where a bride can feel safe and calm. The light, the temperature, the smell, the textures are very important because she will be in contact with your store during all the “dressing” hour.
What is your advice to bridal retailers interested in a fresh look but are low on budget?
Simple materials and shapes work better than overloaded ones. In the design of bridal shops, we talk about the most luxurious moment of many women, of a decision where they look for the dream dress of their life.
Simple environments and materials can express very sophisticated atmospheres, like you can see for example in our Boston or Shanghai Pronovias store.
Be attentive, follow your clients, understand their habits and their tastes. Stay updated on fashion topics related to your business but also business related to your clients. As I say, most of the time, less is more and you have to make brides feel like in a dream, that is why it is essential to understand what they dream about.
Having said that, a few clues: lighting, visual merchandising done right, and cozy, well-kept fitting rooms are the 3 basics.
What about the upcoming holidays? How important is the bridal shop window and how do you begin to decorate it for the holidays?
Holiday seasons are one of the most important moments in retail. It’s when windows help to attract our customers to dream, it’s time to celebrate family and also to drive traffic to our Pronovias Group websites and digital appointments.
We want to feel special to our clients and be aligned with fashion ideas and clients’ expectations.
During the holidays, our Pronovias windows are usually prepared in such a way that our New Collections and our beautiful campaigns shine even more, dedicating all our passion to make our shops shine.
That said, 2020 is a challenge and an opportunity to find different ways to develop our business and the path we are taking for the upcoming holidays.
What is your advice for bridal shops who are having a hard time coming up with creative design ideas for their bridal shop?
Creativity is about paying attention to your surroundings. It’s about an open mind, the courage to say things no matter what, and creativity is about feeling and loving . My first advice is “Be open to feel, to look around you, to use your 5 senses”
Understanding your clients is the other key to inspiring you to create. Being empathetic is what will make you feel like a bride, with their expectations and preferences. In the Pronovias group, in addition to thinking of new ideas, we analyze knowledge through various tools before starting to make our creativity work.
Looking back at your career, can you name a project you are most proud of?
I can say that I am proud of many projects, because I am very proud of the teams that I have worked with throughout my career. My projects are part of my experience and sensitivity, but also the result of the effort, passion and dedication of incredible people with whom I had the privilege of working.
As a recent example, our last opening in Paris was one of our biggest challenges. We created a new store concept for one of our Pronovias Group brands: Nicole Milano in Paris. We designed, negotiated and built this first international store Nicole Milano during the pandemic to achieve the excellence that the Pronovias Group represents. I can say that the result of all this dedication, passion and effort is an elegant store, where Italian design is represented in finishes and furniture. Mediterranean passion is represented in red velvet details, lighting is design made and minimal and as well the sales area that is optimized to glorify our products and create a true fashion bridal experience. Since it opening last September we are receiving very positive feedback from customers, consultants and commercial teams and I hope we will be soon celebrating love and weddings with our dearest brides.
On the behalf of Bridal Times, we would like to thank Amanda Pérez Macedo Delgado for this interview.