Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid Dresses Marry Style & Wearability
Just in time for wedding high season, the bridal designer stopped in Chicago last weekend.
June 13, 2012
New York-based bridal designer Jenny Yoo stopped into her Chicago showroom last weekend to put brides-to-be at ease during the busy summer wedding season. While searching for that one perfect gown, many brides find they have an even bigger task: choosing a dress that will flatter all of their bridesmaids. It was this dilemma of bridal party dresses—rather than the wedding gown—that first launched Yoo’s career.
In 2002, Yoo was working as a designer at Ann Taylor when she picked up on a trend: Brides-to-be were choosing the store’s ready-to-wear dresses for their wedding parties in favor of more traditional bridesmaid styles.
“Back then, there weren’t as many options for bridesmaid dresses,” Yoo says. “It was always that ugly dress that you never pulled out of the closet again.”
She saw an opportunity in the bridal market and jumped at it, launching her own line of bridesmaid dresses in late 2002. “I wanted to take what I’d learned from the corporate world and build my own brand, while filling a niche that was void at the time,” she says. “I wanted to break the mold of the long, polyester and satin styles that were out there, and to push the idea of re-wearability.”
Fill a niche she did—her business took off immediately. Following the strategic placement of her first ad in Martha Stewart Weddings, “We started getting calls,” she says.
Yoo began with a showroom in New York, opening another in Los Angeles shortly after. In 2005, after getting a great response from Chicago brides during trunk shows in the city, she opened her showroom on West Superior Street.
Having showrooms in three major cities has given her a unique perspective on regional style dialect. “In LA, they want to break the rules, but the Chicago bride is more refined,” Yoo says. “She has more of a classic taste and style, and I like that.”
Always a guest, never a bridesmaid? Yoo’s dresses work just as well for female guests, like some of the styles from her 2012 collection (above). 300 W. Superior St., 312-642-2327
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