With New York Bridal Fashion Week 2019 in full swing, we’re delighted to shine a spotlight on Anne Barge, a long-time partner of Southern Bride and one of the preeminent bridal and special occasion design houses in the U.S.

This past June, Anne Barge excitedly announced that the brand officially eliminated all extra size fees for its Curve Couture collection. The new policy is completely size and price inclusive. In the past, a bride whose measurements fell above a size US 16 was charged upwards of 15% to cover the cost of the extra fabric needed to create a gown. Prices are now fixed no matter what size a bride may be!

As a luxury bridal and evening wear design house, Anne Barge aims to inspire women daily. The brand designs pieces for every size and shape, allowing women to feel beautiful in their own skin. The company is extremely proud of this year’s price and size inclusive initiatives and how the curve industry has changed attitudes amongst brides and retailers alike.

Shawne Jacobs, the Creative Director and President of Anne Barge and Southern Bride exchanged an exclusive Q&A all about the Curve Couture Collection in honor of saying goodbye to extra size fees and hello to New York bridal fashion week!

Southern Bride: Where did the inspiration for the collection come from?

SJ: “Since the company was founded in 1999, Anne Barge has always designed wedding gowns from size 0 – 22. We have proudly dressed every beautiful woman regardless of height and size! This being said, we have never put a focus on plus size until we created the Curve Couture collection. Over the last 5 years, we have seen an increase in size 14+ wedding gowns being ordered with us. At the time, trunk show samples were only available to try on in a size 4 – 8. I felt it was time to put a focus on size inclusivity. It is very important to me that all women can walk into a bridal salon, select a few gowns to try on and have it zip right up on them.”

Southern Bride: How has the line been received by the bridal industry/clients/customers?

SJ: “At first, the Curve Couture line was a slow take off with most of our retailers. Over the last two two bridal seasons, at least half of our retailers have been placing both regular and curve couture samples to stock in their store. Due to this increase, our Curve Couture gowns continue to show tremendous growth. We now have a curve trunk show collection that showcases only size 14 – 22 wedding gowns. We have also encouraged most of our retailers to ask the brides who are making appointments, what size they wear on a day to day basis. This allows the retailer to know the bridal size before coming into the store to try on pieces. Our retailers will then call us to borrow a few of our Curve Couture gowns specifically for the appointment.”

“Our retailers have especially loved this initiative when we did away with our ‘extra size fee’ for any size 16+. Truth be told, it does cost more to make a Curve Couture gown. There is more fabric involved. In the past, a bride whose measurements fell above a size US 16 was charged upwards of 15% to cover the cost of the extra fabric. As of June 2019, prices are now fixed no matter what size a bride may be. We are very excited for this positive change to our brand, creating an equal space for diverse body types in an industry that has historically had a very narrow definition of beauty. We felt that it was necessary to charge all of our brides one price even if it meant that we would not make the same markup on the gown as our smaller sizes. Our focus is to always make every bride no matter height, size and shape feel happy and beautiful.”

Southern Bride: What are some of the highlights of the new line? Any gown(s) in specific that Anne Barge is especially excited to share?

SJ: “Our Curve Couture collection features a variety of silhouettes and necklines which highlight a woman’s figure. Specific gowns which we are excited to have featured in our Curve line are the Zurie, Raquel, and Berkeley – the silhouettes which we feel best flatter a full-figured woman. Our Zurie gown is a fitted mermaid shape which perfectly showcases a woman’s curves. Zurie’s sensual contours are made more sensational by an all-over beaded embroidery fabric finished sweetly at the neckline with a scalloped detail. For an A-line silhouette, the Raquel gown epitomizes a classic look with its tailored clean lines and Mikado fabric. The Raquel gown’s V neckline creates a long line to the neck and highlights a woman’s décolletage plus the gown has an added ‘wow’ feature with a dramatic sashed bow at the back. For a bride who wants to feel like the belle of the ball, our Berkeley gown is the perfect ball gown. Berkeley is designed with an off the shoulder neckline which showcases a woman’s collarbone, framing the face beautifully. The bodice of the Berkeley gown sculpts the figure with its criss crossing micro ruched detail, drawing the eye to the waistline which is narrowed by the voluminous princess skirt.”

Southern Bride: What else can customers expect moving forward with size inclusivity from Anne Barge?

SJ: “Every day we continue to improve our Curve Couture collection to provide phenomenal wedding gowns. Fit and construction is very important to us. We recently changed our Curve Couture size chart to make sure our bust, waist and hip measurements represent the curvier bride with more accuracy. We have dedicated a Curve Couture section on our updated website and have worked with models’ size 16+ to shoot our look-books. All women want to be able to picture what they would look like in a wedding gown that they love. Anne Barge always aims to inspire women daily. We design pieces for every size and shape, allowing women to feel beautiful in their own skin when wearing our brand. We are extremely proud of this year’s price and size inclusive initiatives and how the curve industry has changed attitudes amongst brides and retailers alike”.

Thanks so much for your time, Shawne! For more gorgeous look by Anne Barge, click here.

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