Tania Olsen, designer and founder of Tania Olsen Designs, suggests that there are noticeable trends in what bride's are looking for during this period, and comments on its impact on the design of her collections.

Tania offers her the thoughts on the issues and changes facing the industry from the perspective of an international designer successfully entering the US bridal market.

How would you describe the impact Covid-19 is having on bridal design? 

Tania Olsen: We have had to rethink what our customers are looking for. With smaller balcony style weddings it has made us change direction in design.

The creations we have been working on for the next season are more simplistic with the focus on beautiful materials and flattering silhouettes. We are excited to be adding versatile attachments to our wedding gowns allowing the customer to wear the dress with a variety of looks suiting their needs.  

What aspects of today's bridal customer should store owners be particularly aware of? 

Tania Olsen: They are more conscious of their spending and are looking for value in their purchase.

How has Covid-19 impacted the operation side of Tania Olsen Designs... and what’s your strategy for dealing with a potential long-term disruption? 

Tania Olsen: The impact from Covid has caused us to change some of the ways we operate, in terms of making ordering more accessible online, creating virtual showings of new collections, so that customers are to still able to see movement and details of dresses to help them buy from their own lounge room.

We are also reaching out to sales reps and agencies to help us grow the brand internationally due to travel restrictions.

How do you see these programs extending into 2021?

Tania Olsen: New collection showings are the most critical area of our industry in which we need to change the way we have previously been operating.

Virtual showings will be the way of the future for many brands and is something we are working on along with better images and videos of our product for the consumer to see.

What is your forecast for the bridal and formal industry for Spring 2021 and beyond? 

Tania Olsen: We are going to see more pared-back wedding looks. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding holding larger ceremonies, so brides are adopting the “less-is-more” attitude in a lot of aspects of their big day.

By holding smaller, more intimate ceremonies brides are going to feel less pressure to wear totally extravagant ball gown styles, making the versatile separates a popular option, such as detachable sleeves and over skirts so that they can be removed for a more simple look.

I think we are also going to see an increase in brides purchasing more than one wedding dress, ie one dress for the small gathering/zoom ceremony and another for when things return to normal and people can travel.

Do you think there are positives aspects for our industry that have come about due to COVID-19... and if so, what are they? 

Tania Olsen: Yes, I do. I think this disruption has forced a lot of businesses to innovate their structure and operations more quickly than they had planned.

By doing this, many of us have embraced the online sphere and are now more technology driven and finding that it’s actually having a profoundly positive effect on our businesses.